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Alzheimer's Disease Health Center

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Fish Fat May Help Fight Alzheimer's Disease

DHA, a Fatty Acid in Fish Such as Salmon, May Help Save Brain Cells

Government's Fish Advice

If you choose to eat more fish, you may want to consider mercury levels in fish.

For most people, the mercury risk from fish and shellfish is not a health concern, states the web site of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The FDA and EPA offer this advice for women who are or may become pregnant, nursing mothers, and young children:

  • Don't eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish due to high mercury levels.
  • Eat up to 12 ounces (two average meals) per week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury (such as shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish).
  • Know that albacore tuna has more mercury than light tuna.
  • Check local advisories about the safety of locally caught fish. If no advice is available, eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) per week of fish from local waters, but don't eat any other fish that week.

Fish oil capsules are another option. In December 2004, reported that its tests found no mercury or other toxins called PCBs in 41 fish oil supplements. However, one supplement was spoiled and another didn't contain its labeled amounts, according to

Discuss any supplements you take with your doctor, especially patients taking fish oil or marine-derived omega-3 fatty acid supplements in combination with blood thinners, since these oils in extremely high doses may have the potential to increase bleeding tendency.

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