Can omega-3s help prevent Alzheimer’s disease?

Can omega-3s help prevent Alzheimer’s disease?

Can omega-3s helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease? Researchers from the University of Texas aimed to find out through the use of imaging.

In the new study, the researchers found that blood flow increases in specific areas of the brain when patients have high omega-3 levels.

This study is a major advance in demonstrating the value of nutritional intervention for brain health by using the latest brain imaging,” commented George Perry, PhD, Dean and Professor of Biology, The University of Texas at San Antonio, and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The study authors described the following methods and results:

Single photon emission computed tomography, or SPECT, can measure blood perfusion in the brain. Images acquired from subjects performing various cognitive tasks will show higher blood flow in specific brain regions. When these images were compared to the Omega-3 Index, a measure of the blood concentration of two omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), investigators found a statistically significant correlation between higher blood flow and higher Omega-3 Index. In addition, they evaluated the neuropsychological functions of the subjects and found that omega-3 levels also correlated with various psychological feelings using a standardized test battery (WebNeuro).

Co-author William S. Harris, PhD, University of South Dakota School of Medicine. Vermillion, SD, lends this perspective, “Although we have considerable evidence that omega-3 levels are associated with better cardiovascular health, the role of the ‘fish oil’ fatty acids in mental health and brain physiology is just beginning to be explored. This study opens the door to the possibility that relatively simple dietary changes could favorably impact cognitive function.”

Some great sources of omega-3s are salmon, walnuts, chia seeds, eggs, and sardines.

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REFERENCES:
1. “Can Omega-3 Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease? Brain SPECT Imaging Shows Possible Link.” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, n.d. Web. 21 May 2017.
2. “15 Omega-3 Foods Your Body Needs Now.” Dr. Axe. Dr. Axe, 10 May 2016. Web. 21 May 2017.

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