In my last post, I suggested that despite the findings of one study, it was still a good idea to supplement omega-3 fatty acids in the diet. Here is one study supporting my argument.
Forty-six seniors with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease were given either a dose of omega-3's of 1.8 grams per day (roughly equivalent to what was provided in the previously mentioned study) or placebo. A 24-week, randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study was carried out to test the feasibility of using omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) monotherapy in people with cognitive impairment and to explore its effects on cognitive function and general clinical condition in these participants. Seventy-six participants completed the study. Those who received the omega-3's showed better improvement on a clinician-based assessment of symptoms. The change was more significant in those individuals with mild cognitive impairment than it was in those diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
The changes were more significant, also, in persons with higher concentrations of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in their red blood cells.
And, as I suggested, study design is an important determinant of outcome. In the words of the researchers, "Further studies should be considered with a larger-sample size, diet registration, higher dosages, comparisons between different combinations of PUFAs, and greater homogeneity of participants, especially those with mild Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment."
I am excited to see what studies like this teach us about minimizing the devastating effects of diseases of aging, such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease!
Chiu CC, Su KP, Cheng TC, Liu HC, Chang CJ, Dewey ME, Stewart R, Huang SY. The effects of omega-3 fatty acids monotherapy in Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment: a preliminary randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2008 Aug 1;32(6):1538-44. Epub 2008 May 25.
The New ETLNTA
3 years ago