Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.
May 24 2017. The June 2017 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease featured an article by Daniel G. Amen, MD, of the Amen Clinics, Inc., and his colleagues that documents an association between higher levels of omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels and increased blood flow in three areas of the brain’s cerebrum.
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The study included 166 participants seen at a psychiatric clinic, who had data available concerning blood levels of the omega 3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging of the brain was conducted to assess blood flow in 128 brain regions. Neurocognitive status was evaluated via standard computerized testing.
Dr Amen’s team found an association between higher EPA plus DHA levels and brain blood flow, as well as with cognition. “This is very important research because it shows a correlation between lower omega 3 fatty acid levels and reduced brain blood flow to regions important for learning, memory, depression and dementia,” he remarked.
“This study is a major advance in demonstrating the value of nutritional intervention for brain health by using the latest brain imaging,” commented George Perry, PhD, of the University of Texas at San Antonio, who is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
“Although we have considerable evidence that omega 3 levels are associated with better cardiovascular health, the role of the ‘fish oil’ fatty acids in mental health and brain physiology is just beginning to be explored,” added coauthor William S. Harris, PhD, of the University of South Dakota School of Medicine in Vermillion. “This study opens the door to the possibility that relatively simple dietary changes could favorably impact cognitive function.”