Using DHA for Alzheimer’s and delaying the onset of the disease adds quality years to a person’s life and is a cost-effective strategy that could reduce health care costs.
A new study conducted by the Fatty Acid Research Institute shows that high amounts of Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) slash the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. DHA for Alzheimer’s utilizes omega-3 fatty acid that is naturally produced in our bodies.
But we produce very small amounts, and not enough to reach daily requirements, so we need to supplement DHA in our diets. Some sources are grass-fed meats, pastured eggs, dairy products, and some types of cold-water fish. We can also add DHA to our diets by taking fish oil or seaweed/algae supplements.
The results of the recent study, published in the journal Nutrients, found that diets that are high in DHA could slow the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The study also found that DHA for Alzheimer’s could slow development of even in persons who carry the ApoE4 gene. ApoE genes are tasked with removing plaque from the brain that is believed to be a cause of Alzheimer’s disease. One version of the gene, ApoE4, is less effective at removing plaque, and therefore leaves the person more susceptible to the disease.
Nearly 1,500 patients aged 65 who were found not to have dementia at baseline were part of the study. Researchers studied the links of red blood cell DHA with Alzheimer’s as well as conducting tests on the association of DHA and the Apo4 gene.
The participants were broken into five groups based on their RBC DHA content. Researchers discovered that the group averaging an omega-3 DHA index of more than 6.1% had a much lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than the group with the lowest DHA index of 3.8% or lower. The difference was significant, with the first group having 49% lower risk than the second group. Researchers predicted the first group would live free of Alzheimer’s for 4.7 years longer than the lowest group.
DHA is one of three types of omega-3 essential fatty acids, along with Alpha Linolenic Acid and Eicoapentaenoic Acid, that benefit brain and nervous system function. DHA makes up about a tenth or more of the total fats, and approximately 90% of the polyunsaturated fatty acids in the brain.
Authors of the study acknowledged a 2012 study that found an association between red blood cell DHA and cognitive performance and brain volume measurements. In Alzheimer’s patients, research has found a decline in DHA levels in parts of the brain that are associated with memory and cognitive function. If DHA levels can be improved, it could possibly change the timespan or even the outcome of Alzheimer’s patients.
A diet containing foods that are DHA omega-3 sources could help, and the same type of diet is also known to be heart healthy and reduces the risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
Using DHA for Alzheimer’s and delaying the onset of the disease adds quality years to a person’s life and is a cost-effective strategy that could reduce the health care cost for millions of patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.
For more information on Omega-3, visit https://www.dclabs.com/search.php?search=omega-3.