October 13th, 2006
Omega-3 fatty acids may have a positive effect on early Alzheimer's disease according to a new report  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).