Omega-3 rich foods such as fish and spinach may help prevent Alzheimer’s: Study
Consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as fish and spinach can increase blood flow in areas of the brain associated with memory and learning, which reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study.
In Alzheimer’s disease, a protein called amyloid forms around the nerve cells in the brain. This amyloid damages the blood vessels and can inhibit the flow of blood in the brain. “This is a very important research because it shows a correlation between omega-3 fatty acid levels and lower the reduction of cerebral blood flow to regions important for learning, memory, depression and dementia,” said the researcher Principal, Daniel G Amen Amen of Clinics in the United States.
The researchers analyzed the brain images of about 166 participants. They used single photon emission computed tomography, or SPECT, to measure blood perfusion in the brain. Images obtained from subjects performing various cognitive tasks show increased blood flow in specific regions of the brain, the researchers said.
The quantitative brain SPECT was performed in 128 regions of the brain and each participant completed computerized neurocognitive test their status.
They compared the images to the Omega-3 index, a measure of blood levels of two omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the researchers found a statistically significant correlation between increased blood circulation and The Omega-3 Index. The team also evaluated the neuropsychological functions of subjects and found that omega-3 fatty acid levels also correlated with various psychological feelings using a battery of standardized tests.
The results showed a statistically significant relationship between the omega-3 index, regional cerebral perfusion in SPECT in the areas involved in memory and neurocognitive tests.
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“The role of fatty acids” fish oil “in mental health and the physiology of the brain principle to be explored.This study opens the possibility that relatively simple dietary changes have a positive impact on cognitive function,” he said William S Harris from the University of South Dakota in the United States.