Omega-3s and antioxidants may help fight Alzheimer’s

Omega-3s and antioxidants may help fight Alzheimer’s

Extensive research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants both have significant health benefits and can protect against some common diseases. Now, a new study from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) shows that this dynamic duo of nutrients may be able to bring about improvement in the biological signs of Alzheimer's disease.

The study was small, involving two patients with pre-mild cognitive impairment, 12 patients with minor cognitive impairment and seven with full-blown Alzheimer's disease. They were given omega-3 and antioxidant supplements over the course of 17 months. Although the patients who had already been diagnosed with Alzheimer's didn't show much improvement, those who were still in the prior stages had reduced levels of amyloid-beta proteins in the brain, which are one of the main biomarkers associated with the disease. They also displayed less inflammation in the brain over the course of the study period.

"Prevention of mild cognitive impairment progression is one of the best hopes. In addition to physical and mental exercises recommended by experts, this study suggests that nutrition is equally important," wrote study author Milan Fiala, M.D., of the University of California's Department of Surgery.

The authors acknowledge that the small size of the study makes it less conclusive, but maintain that since these supplements are so inexpensive and easy to acquire, it wouldn't hurt to start implementing this strategy clinically.

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