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Two Key Nutrients Help Stave Off Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted on Jan. 3, 2017, 6 a.m. in Alzheimer's Disease Dietary Supplementation Vitamins

Omega-3 supplements and antioxidants improve clearance of amyloid beta protein and reduce inflammation of brain tissue

Because there is at-present no known cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, prevention is considered a first-line defense against the mind-robbing disorder. Milan Fiala, from the University of California/Los Angeles (UCLA; California, USA), and colleagues investigated the effects of 4 to 17 months of supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants in 12 patients with minor cognitive impairment, 2 patients with pre-mild cognitive impairment, and 7 patients with Alzheimer disease. The researchers measured the phagocytosis of amyloid-beta 1-42 by flow cytometry and microscopy, the transcription of inflammatory genes by RT-PCR, the production of resolvin D1 by enzyme immunoassay, and the cognitive status by MMSE. In patients with mild clinical impairment and pre-mild clinical impairment, phagocytosis of amyloid-beta by monocytes increased from 530 to 1306 mean fluorescence intensity units. The increase in patients with Alzheimer's disease was not significant. The lipidic mediator resolvin D1, which stimulates amyloid-beta phagocytosis in vitro, increased in macrophages in 80% of patients with mild clinical impairment and pre-mild clinical impairment. The transcription of inflammatory genes' mRNAs was increased in a subgroup of patients with low transcription at baseline, whereas it was not significantly changed in patients with high transcription at baseline. The study authors submit that: “Our study is the first to show significant immune and biochemical effects of [omega]-3 fatty acids with antioxidants in patients with [minor cognitive impairment].”

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Fiala M, Halder RC, Sagong B, Ross O, Sayre J, Porter V, Bredesen DE.  “[Omega]-3 Supplementation increases amyloid-[beta] phagocytosis and resolvin D1 in patients with minor cognitive impairment.”  FASEB J. 2015 Jul;29(7):2681-9.

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