A breakthrough in Alzheimer’s prevention? Researchers found that taking one supplement may boost brain function enough to prevent the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. This particular supplement is one that nutritionists and health practitioners have been recommending for years because of its ability to increase brain function. But now, with the findings from the study conducted by the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center at Rhode Island Hospital, fish oil supplements may prove to be one of the keys to unlocking the mystery of Alzheimer’s.
The benefits of fish oil are many, thanks to the powerful main ingredient: DHA, which is an omega-3 fatty acid that comes from cold water fish like salmon, mackerel, swordfish, and trout. It’s another of those substances that just seem to have more benefits associated with it as we learn more about it. Up until now, fish oil has been promoted as a weight loss tool, a helpful aid to increase fertility (and as a beneficial supplement to take while pregnant), and an aid for conditions such as diabetes, depression, anxiety, inflammation, and cholesterol. And don’t forget, fish oil is also touted as a brain booster that is able to improve memory.
Despite the fact that fish oil supplements have been recommended for their brain benefits for years, there hasn’t been a link between fish oil and the aging disease Alzheimer’s until now. The longitudinal study conducted by the Alzheimer’s Center at RI Hospital and published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia looked at 819 people, broken into three groups: those with normal functioning brains, those with mild impairments, and those with Alzheimer’s. The findings showed the most improvement in study participants who took fish oil supplements and had normally functioning brains. While the results could not establish cause and effect (i.e., taking fish oil will prevent Alzheimer’s), it does pave the way for more research into the link between fish oil and Alzheimer’s, and the role supplements could play in treatment of this debilitating condition that is currently being diagnosed at the rate of one person every minute.
What is the takeaway of this new information for someone who is interested in living a healthy and long life? If you already take fish oil capsules, you may be helping your brain age better, since studies have shown fish oil aids with memory and thinking. If you’re not taking fish oil supplements, now might be a great time to consider it. Starting to take them long before it’s necessary may be the key to keeping the symptoms of Alzheimer’s at bay. However, it’s important to carefully select your supplement: unfortunately, not all fish oil is created the same. An analysis of the top-selling brands of fish oil supplements found that many companies advertise more omega-3 and DHA than the products actually contained. Make sure you check the label and buy your supplement from a trustworthy company that has a positive reputation. Once you find a product you trust, no matter how you look at it, adding fish oil supplements to your healthy regimen may benefit your brain more than you can imagine.