Omega-3 Fatty Acids could prevent Alzheimer from appearing not only by eating fatty fish two times a week as The American Heart Association recommends, but also with the help of proper supplements. An eight-year study disclosed the fact that the levels of fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are not naturally produced by the body have the ability to increase the brain’s total volume, thus offering people two additional years of brain health.
Unlike saturated foods that boost the level of unhealthy cholesterol, polyunsaturated fats like Omega-3 fatty acids not only keep the cholesterol at a lower level but also diminish inflammation throughout the body and the best way to benefit from them is either by eating fatty fish or taking proper fish oil supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids contain the essential EPA and DHA which can be found in soybeans, walnuts and canola oil but it is better to take them from fatty cold water fish such as salmon, tuna and herring. Because of the high level of mercury certain species of fish ingest, it is better to avoid shark and tilefish and sometimes even tuna.
Both the process of aging and Alzheimer’s disease have their roots in cognitive decline, which means that the brain starts to shrink and the hippocampus, the component which shelters memory and learning ability decreases its volume. The study made by a team of professionals from the University of South Dakota in which 1.100 postmenopausal women took part measured the levels of EPA and DHA in red blood cells and different parts of the brain. With the help of MRI tests, the team discovered that after eight years, women with higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in their red blood cells also presented a greater brain volume, which prevents the appearance of Alzheimer.
Beware of Fish Oil Supplements
Omega-3 fatty acids have been proved to boost the brain’s volume and maybe even prevent Alzheimer disease, but apart from eating fatty fish twice a week, people could improve their brain health with proper fish oil supplements. However, a study made by Labdoor, a company which helps buyers understand and administer their dietary supplements shows that not all fish supplements available on the market are created equal and have the same results. On the contrary, out of 30 best-selling fish supplements analyzed, 21 of them didn’t have the levels of Omega-3 in correspondence with the label claims. Moreover, three products recorded a concentration of mercury of 50% or higher than allowed.
Some of the best products which passed Labdoor‘s quality tests were Dr. Tobias, Axis Labs and Nordic Naturals and Nature Made, NOW Foods and Axis Labs were among the best value supplements.
After the results of the study made by the team from the University of South Dakota were made public, Alzheimer’s Society concluded that the best way to maintain brain health for a longer period and avoid dementia, which is strongly related to Alzheimer is to have a balanced diet, exercise regularly and discard the smoking habit.
Recent studies show that a diet which contains Omega-3 fatty acids could prevent Alzheimer from developing, but people should understand that in the light of recent findings, proper fish oil supplements should be taken in order to obtain the expected result.
By Gabriela Motroc