Anti-Alzheimer's mechanism in Omega-3 fatty acids found

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Washington, Jan 5 (UNI) Fish oil is a deterrent against Alzheimer's disease, scientists have confirmed.

Researchers have long touted fish oil, by pill or diet, as an accessible and inexpensive ''weapon'' that may delay or prevent this debilitating disease.

Greg Cole, associate director of UCLA's Alzheimer Disease Research Center, said that the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in fish oil increases the production of LR11, a protein that is found at reduced levels in Alzheimer's patients and which is known to destroy the protein that forms the 'plaques' associated with the disease.

Alzheimer's is a debilitating neurodegenerative disease that causes memory loss, dementia, personality change and ultimately death.

''We found that even low doses of DHA increased the levels of LR11 in rat neurons, while dietary DHA increased LR11 in brains of rats or older mice that had been genetically altered to develop Alzheimer's disease,'' said Dr Cole.

Fish oil and its key ingredient, Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fatty fish like salmon), have been a mainstay for years and have been endorsed by the American Heart Association to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease as well.

Fatty acids like DHA are considered ''essential'' fatty acids because the body cannot make them from other sources and must obtain them through diet.

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