Report from Life Extension Foundation...
A report published in the November issue of the American Medical Association journal Archives of Neurology revealed the finding of Ernst J. Schaefer, MD, of Tufts University in Boston and his colleagues that having a higher blood level of the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may have a protective effect against the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The current study included 899 participants in the Framingham Heart Study. The subjects, who were an average of 76 years of age and free of dementia at the beginning of the study, underwent neuropsychological tests and provided blood samples that were analyzed for DHA levels. Four hundred eighty-eight of these participants also completed a dietary questionnaire. The group was followed for approximately nine years during which they received mental examinations every two years to screen for dementia.
During the follow-up period, 99 participants developed dementia. Of these, 71 were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. After controlling for other factors including homocysteine levels, Dr Schaefer’s team found that subjects whose DHA levels were in the highest one-fourth of participants had a 47 percent lower risk of developing dementia and a 39 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease than the rest of the subjects. Individuals in the top 25 percent reported eating more fish than the other three groups, with an mean intake of three times per week, providing an average of 180 milligrams DHA per day.
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Christopher Wiechert, C.N.C.
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