Omega-3 may be helpful in preserving healthy cognitive and physical function

The brain requires omega-3s and other essential fatty acids, and those with Alzheimer’s disease have lower-than-normal concentrations in the brain.

In this study, 33 men and women with mild Alzheimer’s disease took 2,300 mg of high-DHA omega-3s per day, or a placebo. After six months, while the placebo group had not changed, those taking omega-3s had higher levels of DHA and EPA in the blood and in cerebrospinal fluid.

The cerebrospinal fluid finding is important in humans, doctors said, because before now they had not known if omega-3 supplements could cross the blood-brain barrier, a membrane network that separates the brain from the circulatory system and protects the central nervous system from harmful chemicals while allowing key nutrients to pass through and nourish the brain.

Doctors also found that as the levels of DHA increased, signs of Alzheimer’s disease and inflammation decreased, suggesting omega-3s may be helpful in preserving healthy cognitive and physical function.

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