Taking fish oil supplements offers a range of health benefits to those growing older, possibly including reducing the risk of Alzheimers
For millions of savvy consumers taking fish oil supplements is an every day occurrence. As so many of us become more aware of the importance of increasing our dietary intake of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) sales of fish oil supplements are skyrocketing.
And this is good. Science has now clearly established a wide range of health benefits from increasing our intake of the essential fatty acids known as the Omega 3 fats. Is a reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease one of those health benefits?
The some time science been studying a link between an increase in intake of Omega 3 fatty acids and a reduction in the incidence of depression. Read our article about Omega 3 and depression if you’re interested.
And it has also been known for a long time that the Omega 3 fats, and in particular DHA, make up a large part of our brain, and that an adequate supply of DHA during infancy, and in fact before birth, can help with brain development, for the development of our nervous system and also for the development of vision in early life.
But now a new study is also showing that these benefits to the brain from increasing our Omega 3 intake may even extend to a reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers at UC Irvine have found a link between low levels of DHA in brain tissue and a higher incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. And they have linked this low-level of DHA in the brain to an inability in the liver to synthesise shorter molecule fatty acids found in plants into DHA. Much of the brain’s DHA comes from the liver.
Whilst of course this doesn’t prove that taking fish oil supplements, or for that matter eating more fish, will prevent Alzheimer’s, it is certainly one more piece of evidence to support the conclusion that good mental function depends on an adequate supply of the essential fatty acids known as the Omega 3 fats and in particular DHA.
And in fact the abstract of the study notes “Reduced brain levels of Docosahexaenoic acid, … a neurotrophic and neuroprotective fatty acid, may contribute to cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease.”
There seems to be growing evidence that taking fish oil supplements may well have a range of health benefits, not just to the heart but also to brain function.
So if you are considering taking Omega 3 supplements there is another reason for you to do so, they may well help protect you from Alzheimer’s disease. And that’s only one of a wide range of health benefits, many of which are now considered to be proven by mainstream medicine, including a reduction in the risk of death from heart attack.
Of course a possible reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease is only one of the health benefits that taking fish oil supplements can afford to those of us who are getting a little older than we would like. One of the other extremely significant health benefits to older people from taking Omega 3 supplements is a reduction in the risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in our older people.
That’s a very significant benefit.
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