Eating foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, chicken and nuts, may lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease, suggests a new study.
Alzheimer's is a degenerative fatal brain disorder caused due to build up of plaques containing a protein called beta amyloid in the brain. The disease results in a gradual loss of memory leading to intellectual, psychological and behavioral disorders, finally proving fatal. The end stage of Alzheimer's disease is often referred to as "the long goodbye".
Till date, there has been no cure for Alzheimer's. The FDA-approved drugs, which are currently in the market, can temporarily relieve only some symptoms of the disease like, memory loss, difficulty in communicating, impaired judgment and a loss of initiative.
Researchers at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York who tested blood samples for beta-amyloid in 1,219 people older than age 65, and free of dementia, have found that the more omega-3 fatty acids a person took in, the lower their blood beta-amyloid levels. According to the study author Nikolaos Scarmeas, the levels of beta-amyloid in the blood, to a certain degree, relates to the level in the brain. Note that Alzheimer's disease is characterized by the accumulation of beta-amyloid at abnormally high levels in the brain.
The study also found that there was 20 to 30 percent reduction in blood beta-amyloid levels in people who consumed one gram of omega-3 per day (equal to approximately half a fillet of salmon per week) more than the average omega-3 consumption.
Commenting on the study results, Scarmeas said, "Determining through further research whether omega-3 fatty acids or other nutrients relate to spinal fluid or brain beta-amyloid levels or levels of other Alzheimer's disease related proteins can strengthen our confidence on beneficial effects of parts of our diet in preventing dementia."
The study was published online May 2, 2012, in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
by RTT Staff Writer
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