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Blood-Brain Barrier Finding Means Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help Treat Alzheimer’s

December 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Swedish research finds that omega-3 fatty acids in dietary supplements can cross the blood-brain barrier in people with Alzheimer's disease, affecting known markers for both the disease itself and inflammation. Earlier studies found evidence that omega-3 fatty acids protect the brain from Alzheimer’s, but the new findings strengthen the argument that omega-3s may benefit patients with certain forms of the seriously debilitating disease. Thirty-three patients participated in the study: 18 received a daily supplement; 15 received a placebo for six months. The results show that the omega-3 group – but not the placebo group – had higher levels of both DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, another omega-3 fatty acid) in their cerebrospinal fluid and blood.
Yvonne Freund Levi et al., "Transfer of omega-3 fatty acids across the blood-brain barrier after dietary supplementation with a docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-rich omega-3 fatty acid preparation in patients with Alzheimer's disease", Journal of Internal Medicine, December 08, 2013, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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