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Effect of Omega-3 on Early Alzheimer

October 13th, 2006

Omega-3 fatty acids may have a positive effect on early Alzheimer's disease according to a new report [1] from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. However, no effect was seen on patient with more advanced Alzheimer. The results are published in this months edition of Archives of Neurology.

The omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are derived from fish and other seafood. In the study 89 Alzheimer patients took a supplement containing these fatty acids, 0.6 g EPA and 1.7 g DHA for six months. In the control group 85 patients were given placebo capsules. After six months the control group switched to active omega-3 capsules too.

The researchers found no significant effect of the omega-3 capsules between the two groups. However, a small subgroup (32 patients) with very mild Alzheimer experienced less cognitive decline. The control group reported the same positive effect when they too ate active omega-3 capsules during the last six months.

1) Freund Levi et al. Omega-3 fatty acid treatment of 174 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease (OmegAD): a randomized double-blind trial (Archives of Neurology, October 2006, ref. 2006; 63:1402-1408).