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Omega-3s and Alzheimer’s

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may slow cognitive decline in some patients with very mild Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to a study in the October Archives of Neurology. While supplementation of DHA and EPA in patients with mild to moderate AD did not delay the rate of cognitive decline, positive effects were observed in post hoc analyses of a small group of patients with the mildest impairment, Yvonne Freund-Levi, MD, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, et al., conclude. Findings from the additional analyses "cannot serve as a basis for general recommendations for treatment of AD with dietary DHA-rich fish oil preparations," the researchers stress. Daily for six months, 89 patients took 1.7 g of DHA and 0.6 g of EPA while 85 patients took placebo in the randomized, double-blind, clinical trial. Following this first six-month period, all participants received fatty acid supplementation for an additional half-year period. Participants in the treatment arm received 2.8-fold more DHA than EPA because of data on deficiency of DHA in brains affected with Alzheimer's, the researchers state, noting that many omega-3 supplementation trials favor EPA...

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