Neuroimaging Highlights Role of Omega 3 in Preventing Cognitive Decline

54358eed-f41c-4d00-a688-ecce202fb542articleimage.jpg

22 May 2017 --- Research involving neuroimaging has shown that people with higher omega 3 levels have increased blood flow in regions of the brain associated with memory and learning, according to a report in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. With the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) expected to triple in the coming decades, interest in dietary approaches for the prevention of cognitive decline has increased. In particular, the omega 3 fatty acids have shown anti-amyloid, anti-tau and anti-inflammatory actions in the brains of animals. 

“This study is a major advance in demonstrating the value of nutritional intervention for brain health by using the latest brain imaging,” says George Perry, Ph.D., Dean and Professor of Biology, The University of Texas at San Antonio, and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is used to measure blood perfusion in the brain, with images acquired from subjects performing various cognitive tasks showing higher blood flow in specific brain regions. When these images were compared to the Omega-3 Index, a measure of the blood concentration of two omega 3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), researchers uncovered a statistically significant correlation between higher blood flow and higher Omega-3 Index. In addition, they evaluated the neuropsychological functions of the subjects and found that omega 3 levels also correlated with various psychological feelings using a standardized test battery (WebNeuro).

Omega 3 is already included in supplements targeting brain health, companies such as Catalent recently introducing its new Omega-3 EasyBurst Chewables which deliver omega 3 (320mg DHA) to support brain, eye and heart health. 

This research was conducted on 166 participants from a psychiatric referral clinic for which Omega-3 Index results were available. The participants were categorized into two groups of higher EPA+DHA concentrations (>50th percentile) and lower concentrations (<50th percentile). Quantitative brain SPECT was conducted on 128 regions of their brains and each participant completed computerized testing of their neurocognitive status.

Results indicated statistically significant relationships between the Omega-3 index, regional perfusion on brain SPECT in areas involved with memory and neurocognitive testing. The study showed positive relationships between omega 3 EPA+DHA status, brain perfusion and 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,” adds lead author Daniel G. Amen, MD, of the Amen Clinics Inc.

“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. This study opens the door to the possibility that relatively simple dietary changes could favorably impact cognitive function,” adds co-author William S. Harris, Ph.D., University of South Dakota School of Medicine. Vermillion, SD.

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

Plasma Nutrition technology found to significantly boost bioavailability of whey protein

21 Jun 2018 --- A University of South Florida study has found that Plasma Nutrition’s Ingredient Optimized technology can make whey protein more bioavailable than high DH hydrolyzed whey protein. The research was conducted on a double-blinded randomized cohort in a crossover design and compared the effects of 25g of non-hydrolyzed ioProtein whey protein isolate (WPI) to 25g of a high-DH hydrolyzed whey protein. The results show that ioWhey Protein is more bioavailable than hydrolyzed whey protein, demonstrating a 58 percent increase in leucine absorption and 60 percent increase in BCAA absorption.

Nutrition & Health News

More than a flavor: Flavoring substances stimulate immune defenses, study finds

21 Jun 2018 --- Not only do citric acid and spicy 6-gingerol from ginger add special flavors to food and beverages; both substances also stimulate the molecular defenses in human saliva, researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology have found. The findings demonstrate the potential of flavor substances to have properties that go beyond the sensory.

Nutrition & Health News

Zero proof that probiotics can ease your anxiety, research reveals

21 Jun 2018 --- Those hoping to alleviate their anxiety with the use of probiotics should probably put down that yogurt spoon or supplement bottle and call a professional instead. This is according to researchers from the University of Kansas who reviewed available research, finding evidence that probiotics can reduce anxiety in rodents, but not in humans. The researchers reviewed data from 22 preclinical studies involving 743 animals and 14 clinical studies of 1,527 individuals, and found that probiotics did “not significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety in humans and did not differentially affect clinical and healthy human samples.”

Nutrition & Health News

Infant nutrition (part 2): Innovations in feeding the first 1,000 days

20 Jun 2018 --- Although breast milk is the most nutritious and advisable way to feed an infant for the first six months of life, as advised by the World Health Organization, there are situations that necessitate good quality breast milk substitutes. Part one of this two-part series on infant nutrition focused on the R&D challenges facing formula manufacturers. This second section focuses on the innovations in the ever-evolving market of Breast Milk Substitutes (BMS), as shared by a range of suppliers, as well as a look at the upcoming trends.

Nutrition & Health News

In your blood: Blood sample could uncover whether a person is following their prescribed diet

20 Jun 2018 --- Clinical trials of diets and their health impacts are often plagued by participants’ poor adherence to assigned diets, making it difficult to detect the true effects of those diets. An analysis of small molecules called “metabolites” in a blood sample may be used to determine whether a person is following a prescribed diet, scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have shown. The new approach, described in a paper in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, could provide an objective and relatively easy-to-obtain measure of dietary adherence, potentially greatly reducing the uncertainty of dietary intake estimates.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/neuroimaging-highlights-role-of-omega-3-in-preventing-cognitive-decline.html