Tag Archives: omega-3

Possible nutritional help for Alzheimer’s immunity … Vitamin D and Omega-3 may help us fight the disease.

FoodFacts.com found very exciting news regarding the role of nutrition in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is a concern for a large portion of the population and robs family’s of their loved ones every day. We’re pleased to see the research being done to combat the disease highlight nutrition as a possible bright light in an otherwise fairly dark landscape.

A small pilot study coming out of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA has identified how Vitamin D3 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids may aid the body’s immune system, enhancing its ability to clear amyloid plaques from the brain. Amyloid plaques are a major feature of Alzheimer’s disease.

The study identified the genes regulated by Vitamin D3 and the Omega-3 Fatty Acid, DHA that might control inflammation and boost plaque clearance. Previous laboratory work by the team helped shed light on how Vitamin D3 can clear amyloid-beta. That’s the abnormal protein in the plaque that builds up in the brains of those afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease. This new study builds on that research and goes on to highlight the role of Omega-3 DHA.

The researchers took blood samples from a population of Alzheimer’s patients and a population of healthy patients. They isolated macrophages (important immune cells) from the blood. These are the immune cells that absorb amyloid-beta and other waste products in the brain and the rest of the body. Those immune cells were incubated overnight with amyloid-beta — and in addition, some of them were also incubated with an active form of Vitamin D3  and some of them with an active form of Omega-3 Fatty Acid DHA.

The immune cells from Alzheimer’s patients that were incubated with Vitamin D3 and the Omega-3 Fatty Acid DHA had an increased ability ability to absorb the amyloid-beta. They also inhibited the death of the immune cells that is induced by amyloid-beta.

While pleased with the results, researchers pointed out that more study is needed. They seek to clarify the balance of supplementation with Vitamin D3 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids to maximize the clearing of amyloid-beta. They are looking to conduct a larger study to confirm these initial findings.

FoodFacts.com is encouraged by these findings as science seeks to find an answer for this serious and heartbreaking condition affecting older and younger populations worldwide. Nutrition can hold keys to solutions for a variety of different conditions and we are hopeful that this new research points to new hope for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Read more here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130205131629.htm

Fish oil may not help to prevent depression afterall

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Many health articles have reported in recent months that fish oils, primarily omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, help to prevent depression in women. Before you go purchase a lifetime supply of fish oils, know that these research studies are constantly evolving. Though some may claim new dietary benefits one month, chances are those recommendations could change the next. Currently, researchers are still looking into the link between these fatty acids and depression. Also, they are continuing to look into fish oil consumption and diabetes in women. Make sure you conduct your own research or consult with a physician before initiating any supplementation.

Eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids doesn’t appear to stave off the blues in women, U.S. researchers have found.

Their study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, adds to the conflicting evidence on the benefits of fish oil, which some research has hinted might help certain people with depression.

“We know that omega-3s are important in brain function,” study researcher Dr. Alberto Ascherio, a nutrition expert at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, told Reuters Health.

“We approached this work thinking that when it comes to preventing depression, it’s conceivable that you are what you eat,” he said.

But the researchers’ findings didn’t bear out that prediction.

The team followed nearly 55,000 nurses over 10 years. All the women, between 50 and 77 years old, were free of depression when the study began in 1996.

Over the next decade, five percent of them eventually developed clinical depression. But the risk was the same regardless of how much DHA and EPA — two omega-3 fatty acids — women got from eating fish.
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Fish rich in omega-3s include salmon, trout, sardines and herring.

The researchers did find preliminary signs that a plant-based omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid could play a role in mood.

For every increase of half a gram in daily intake of the substance –common in walnuts and canola oil, for instance — there was an 18-percent reduction in the risk of depression.

A study like the current one can’t prove cause-and-effect, and Ascherio said the area needs further research before any recommendations can be made.

His team also examined omega-6 fatty acids, but was unable to come up with conclusive findings on its impact on depression. Omega-6s are found in refined vegetable oils and are ubiquitous in snack foods, sweets and fast foods.

Depression strikes twice as many women as men, with one in five U.S. women experiencing the problem at some point.

Dr. Teodore Postolache, who directs the mood and anxiety program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, told Reuters Health he is not yet ready to give up on fish oil.

“There are inherent limitations on studies about depression, including determining with certainty what exactly depression is for patients,” Postolache said.

Using data from nurses, for example, can skew results because nurses are more educated in matters of health and diet than the general population.

“If groups who may have underlying deficits in fish oil were studied, like lower socioeconomic groups, we might have seen a more powerful effect of the omega-3s in preventing depression,” he said.

He also noted that the study excluded women who had previous episodes of depression, although this group is one of “the most important targets for intervention because they are at high risk for a repeat episode.”

He called for more research on animals and in broader swaths of the population.

(Yahoo Health)

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/kmB4rn American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 2011.