Irvine, Calif. — A type of omega-3 fatty acid may slow the growth of two brain lesions that are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, UC Irvine scientists have discovered. The finding suggests that diets rich in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can help prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease later in life.
This study with genetically modified mice is the first to show that DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, can slow the accumulation of tau, a protein that leads to the development of neurofibrillary tangles. Such tangles are one of two signature brain lesions of Alzheimer’s disease. DHA also was found to reduce levels of the protein beta amyloid, which can clump in the brain and form plaques, the other Alzheimer’s lesion.
Previous studies have shown that DHA may have therapeutic value for Alzheimer’s patients, but this research is among the first to show that it may delay the onset of the disease. DHA is found in fish, eggs, organ meats, micro-algae, fortified foods and food supplements.
Since fisheries around the world are getting depleted by excessive demand for fish we really need genetically engineered crop plants that contain more omega 3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA (eicosapentanoic acid). Monsanto, Dupont, BASF and other companies are chasing this goal.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2007 April 19 11:04 PM Aging Diet Brain Studies|