Dementia Alzheimers Disease And Cognitive Impairment
Encompassing a collection of syndromes, dementia is characterised by progressive impairment of memory, language, behaviour and visuospatial function, leading to compromised independence . It is estimated to affect 50 million people globally and is caused by a number of diseases that trigger irreversible damage to cells in the brain. The most common of these diseases is Alzheimers disease , representing 60% to 80% of dementia cases . No treatment has yet been found to prevent or cure cognitive impairment or its progression to dementia and AD .
Health Benefits Of Omega
- Can fight depression and anxiety
- Can improve eye health- getting enough omega-3 is linked to a reduced risk of macular degeneration
- Promote brain health during pregnancy and early life
- Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Can reduce symptoms of metabolic syndrome
- Can fight inflammation
- Can help prevent and treat autoimmune diseases
- Can fight age-related mental decline and Alzheimers Disease
- It May help prevent cancer
- Can help prevent and treat Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Omega 3 Fish Oil And Alzheimer’s Disease
ByDavid Mcevoy | Submitted On October 29, 2006
Although no one knows what causes Alzheimer’s disease, many research studies indicate that those who regularly eat fatty fish or who supplement with fish oil have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Why this is the case remains an interesting topic of investigation but it is believed to be due, at least in part, to the role Omega 3 fatty acids play in the general functioning of the brain itself.
Omega 3 fatty acids are known to improve mental function, mood, memory and concentration and have already demonstrated considerable success in the treatment of conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADD and ADHD. Currently there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, although research does indicate that Omega 3 fatty acids can slow down the ageing of the brain and possibly delay the onset as well as slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s too.
The results of both these studies indicate that Omega 3 supplementation might not only improve mental function in the twilight years, it could possibly be beneficial in slowing down the progress of Alzheimer’s disease, particularly in the early stages, however, more research is required to substantiate this.
DHA deficiency and the “fatty acid paradox”
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
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What Are Fish Oil Omega
Fish oil primarily contains two types of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
These two fatty acids are components of cell membranes and have powerful anti-inflammatory functions within the body. They are also well known for their critical roles in human development and heart health .
In the human diet, EPA and DHA are almost exclusively found in fatty fish and fish oil. Because most people do not consume the recommended amounts of fish, many people likely fall short of getting enough EPA and DHA in their diets .
The body can make EPA and DHA out of another omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid . ALA is found in a number of food sources, such as walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, canola oil, soybeans and soybean oil.
However, humans cant convert ALA to EPA and DHA very efficiently, with estimates reporting that less than 10% of the amount of ALA you consume is converted to EPA or DHA .
Therefore, taking fish oil may be a good option, especially for those who dont eat much fish but are still looking to gain some of the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.
Summary EPA and DHA are the two primary omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil. Because people often fall short of their recommended fish intake, fish oil supplements may be a convenient alternative to give you the health benefits of omega-3s.
Benefits Of Fish Oil For Cardiovascular Health
People with CKD are at an increased risk of developing CVD and vice versa, in fact, people with CKD are more likely to die from CVD than they are from their kidney disease. For this reason, its super important to look after your cardiovascular health if you have kidney disease.
Fish oil has been shown to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, it reduces heart attacks, strokes, coronary artery disease, sudden cardiac death and may reduce total mortality by as much as 20-50%.
Here are some of the ways fish oil reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease:
- Improves cholesterol levels- specifically fish oil has been shown to lower triglycerides, very-low-density lipoproteins and total cholesterol and increase HDL . Not only that but fish oil reduces the oxidation of cholesterol which is the real problem child when it comes to cholesterol.
- Reduce and possibly reverse atherosclerosis – fish oil may also incorporate into atherosclerotic plaques making them more stable and less likely to rupture which reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Reduce inflammation and oxidative stress- inflammation and oxidative stress both contribute to the development and progression of CVD.
- Reduces blood pressure
- Improves blood flow throughout the body- fish oil helps to relax blood vessels, improving the delivery of blood and oxygen to the heart, the brain and throughout the rest of the body.
Alzheimer’s Study Finds Proper Dose Of Omega
A new study published in The Lancet indicates that it might take much more omega-3 to reach the brain in Alzheimer’s disease patients than previously thought.
Animal models and observational studies of omega-3 EPA and DHA have shown an association between higher levels of these fatty acids and lower incidence of AD and dementia. To date, however, clinical trials testing the direct effects of omega-3 supplementation on AD have by and large come up with disappointing results. Until now.
Although a previous study tested the effects of high doses of omega-3 on blood and cerebrospinal fluid in patients with AD, this new study is the first to examine this question in people without AD.
The study population consisted of 33 participants from Los Angeles-men and women aged 55 and older who, although not being cognitively impaired themselves, had a family history of the disease. Typically American, they had generally sedentary lifestyles and they ate little to no fatty fish. None had taken omega-3 fatty acid capsules for at least three months prior to the study.
Approximately half of the group carried a gene variant known as APOE4, which is linked to inflammation in the brain and is a known factor for increasing AD risk by a factor of four or more.
This study used a daily dose over 2 grams of DHA, a dose that far exceeded what has typically been used in previous clinical trials using 1 gram of omega-3s to assess the preventive power of omega-3s.
Fish Oil May Fight Alzheimer’s Disease
Dietary Supplements Helped Protect Brains of Elderly Mice
Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of mental decline in older adults. The latest findings — which are based on a study of lab mice — don’t change that. But they enhance fish oil‘s reputation as a “brain food” that may help protect the brain from the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers worldwide are hot on the trail of an Alzheimer’s cure. They’re studying everything from diet to mental activity, while working on new Alzheimer’s drugs.
The need has never been greater. About 4.5 million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s disease, says the Alzheimer’s Association. By the year 2050, that number may rise to 11-16 million people, the association estimates.
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Neuroprotective Benefits And Alzheimers Prevention
In addition to the fact that Omega-3-6-9s fatty acids are needed for the normal day to day functions of the brain, Omega acids have also been shown to have several neuroprotective benefits.
Omega-3-6-9s reduce the creation and accumulation of amyloid plaques, amyloid plaques are toxic waste products which are believed to be the main cause of Alzheimers disease.
Omega-3-6-9s improve cardiovascular health. A healthy cardiovascular system has been directly linked to brain health. The cardiovascular system delivers nutrients to the brain needed necessary for daily functioning and blood circulation cleans out harmful byproducts that build up as a result of the brains normal daily functions.
Can Higher Levels Of An Omega 3 Fatty Acid Reduce The Risk For Alzheim
In this study the researchers measured blood cell status of DHA which is an objective measure of long-term dietary DHA intake .
DHA is one of the omega 3 fatty acids. They also examined the association of RBC DHA as it related to Alzheimers disease risk. The participants were 1490 dementia-free participants aged 65 years or older, and they were followed for an average of 7.2 years.
This is what they found. The risk for Alzheimers disease was 49% lower in the highest fifth RBC DHA quintile compared with the lowest quintile.
This was predicted to provide an estimated 4.7 additional years of life free of Alzheimers.
EPA is another omega 3 fatty acid found in fish oil which provides many benefits.
Use a fish oil high in both DHA and EPA since both fatty acids provide benefits. The fish oil should also have been tested for contaminants.
Aleix Sala-Vila 1 2, Claudia L Satizabal 3 4 5 6, Nathan Tintle 1 7, Debora Melo van Lent 3 4 5 6, Ramachandran S Vasan 8, Alexa S Beiser 9, Sudha Seshadri 3 4 5 6, William S Harris, Red Blood Cell DHA Is Inversely Associated with Risk of Incident Alzheimer’s Disease and All-Cause Dementia: Framingham Offspring Study, Nutrients. 2022 Jun 9 14:2408.
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This Supplement Can Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk By 49% New Study Suggests
While doctors are still trying to fully understand Alzheimer’s and figure out potential treatments for the disease, research has shown that getting an adequate amount of omega-3 DHA can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by a staggering 49%.
DHAor docosahexaenoic acidis an omega-3 fat that is known to potentially prevent health issues such as rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, some types of cancer, and depression, per Healthline.
It might also be beneficial when it comes to preventing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study recently published in Nutrients, which involved researchers taking a look at the possible connection between red blood cell docosahexaenoic acid and Alzheimer’s. While considering the health of participants who were a median age of under 65 years old and who did not have dementia, the researchers found that those with higher levels of RBC DHA were 49% less likely to face a risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
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“The results of this study are very promising and confirm what researchers have found in epidemiological and animal studies to date,” says Gladd.
To find out more about how to benefit from omega-3, be sure to read The #1 Best Omega-3 Supplement to Take, Says Dietitian.
Fish Oils For Forgetfulness Omega 3 Intake Linked To Stabilized Memory In Alzheimers Study
08 Sep 2021 — Researchers in Sweden have found a positive correlation between omega 3 intake and memory in Alzheimers patients who performed a cognitive test. The study is hailed as the first ever to measure biomarkers from spinal fluid in Alzheimers patients treated with omega 3 fatty acids. We can see that the memory function of the patients in the group that had taken omega 3 is stable, whereas the patients in the control group have deteriorated, says Yvonne Freund-Levi, a researcher in neuroscience at Örebro University who collaborated with researchers at Karolinska Institute, Sahlgrenska University Hospital and Uppsala University on the study.
But we cant see any differences between the groups when we look at the various biomarkers in the spinal fluid samples.
When looking solely within the group that took omega 3, participants spinal fluid revealed an increase in two biomarkers associated with damaged nerve cells: neurofilament light and chitinase-3-like protein 1 .
Researchers point out that these could indicate an increase in the inflammatory response, but more research is needed, particularly given the studys small size.
Omega 3 supplements were sourced from fish oils, dosed at 2.3 g, with a higher content of DHA than EPA, Freund-Levi tells NutritionInsight.
Spinal fluid samples were collected, and patients performed a memory test both at the start of the study and after six months. No differences were detected between the groups at baseline.
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Omega Fatty Acids Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation has recently been the focus in the search to understand Alzheimers Disease. While inflammation’s relationship to Alzheimers Disease is not completely understood, we know that inflammation can contribute heavily to the deterioration of the brain seen in Alzheimers Disease. Omega Fatty Acids reduce this inflammation and some studies have subsequently found that Omega Fatty Acids reduce the likelihood of Alzheimers Disease and cognitive decline.
Some Of The Other Benefits Of Fish Oil In People With Ckd
Reducing inflammation and the damage inflammation causes within the kidneys isnt the only benefit of fish oil. Studies have also shown the following benefits:
Reduced proteinuria- Protein doesnt generally pass into urine because protein molecules are too big to fit through the tiny filtering units of the kidneys. When the kidneys are damaged or not working properly, proteinuria can develop. The process of these large protein molecules getting through the tiny kidney filters causes further damage to the kidneys, increasing the progression of kidney disease. Reducing proteinuria can help to prevent further damage to the kidneys.
Reduced risk of vascular access graft thrombosis in patients on dialysis.
Improvement in uraemic pruritus- uraemic pruritus is chronic skin itching which is a common and distressing problem in the later stages of kidney disease.
Reduced erythropoietin requirements- when you have kidney disease, your kidneys are less able to make EPO. Low EPO levels cause your red blood cell count to drop and anaemia to develop. EPO injections are often given to people in the later stages of kidney disease as a treatment of anaemia. Fish oil supplementation has been shown to reduce the frequency of EPO injections.
Improved bone density in osteoporosis.
Improves blood flow throughout the body including to the kidneys- any interruption or reduction in blood flow can cause kidney dysfunction or damage and if long-standing can also cause increased blood pressure.
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Fish Oil May Improve Depression
Finding treatments for depression and other mental health disorders continues to be a public health priority, and the desire for non-medicinal interventions to improve symptoms will likely increase.
People have long thought that fish oil is linked to improvements in mental health, but does the research actually back up this claim?
A recent review of clinical studies concluded that taking fish oil supplements improved depressive symptoms in people with depression, with effects comparable to those of antidepressant medications .
However, the greatest improvements in depressive symptoms seemed to occur in people who were also taking antidepressants. Additionally, people tended to see greater effects when the fish oil supplement contained higher doses of EPA .
It is still unclear how EPA and omega-3s improve depressive symptoms.
Researchers have suggested it may be related to their effects on serotonin and serotonin receptors in the brain. Others have proposed that omega-3s from fish oil could improve depressive symptoms through anti-inflammatory effects .
Additional evidence suggests that fish oil may improve other mental health conditions like borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder.
However, more high-quality research is needed before the medical community can make definitive recommendations .
Pufas As Mediators Of Cognitive Impairment
There is general agreement across studies and study design, of an association between healthy diets, cognitive function, and risk of AD . That is, prudent and Mediterranean diets, characterised by greater intake of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, and polyunsaturated fatty acids, associate with reduced risk of cognitive impairment, compared to Western diets characterised by processed foods, saturated fats, refined grains, and added sugars . PUFAs, lipidic molecules defined by the presence of more than one double bond in the aliphatic chain, are typically more abundant in healthy whole food diets, such as those consumed in prudent and Mediterranean diets. The two main series of PUFAs are omega-3 : -linolenic acid , docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid and omega-6 : linoleic acid and arachidonic acid .
Precursor 6 and 3 PUFAs, LA and ALA, are essential fatty acids determined by diet as they cannot be endogenously synthesised by humans , while long-chain PUFAs may be either endogenously synthesised from their precursor 3 or 6 PUFA or consumed directly through diet or supplementation.
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Fish Oil And Alzheimers: The Good And Bad News
This past Sunday, scientists announced the results of two research studies regarding omega-3, cognitive health, and aging. In both studies, DHA was the omega-3 of choice, because it plays a crucial role in brain function.
Ill start with the bad news: an 18-month study indicates that for people in the early stages of Alzheimers disease, with mild or moderate symptoms, its already too late for omega-3 to slow the decline of cognitive ability. This is in agreement with a previous study from Sweden demonstrating that while fish oil may be beneficial for people in the early stages of Alzheimers, that effect disappears later on.
Some maybe-good news: Participants in the same trial who didnt have the e4 version of the APOE gene which increases the risk of developing Alzheimers did show slight improvement. For the 20 to 30 percent of people with Alzheimers disease who lack this key gene, this is a topic to continue to watch as more research emerges.
1. HealthDay News: Omega-3 Fatty Acid Falls Short in Alzheimers Trial.