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Alzheimer's: Dr Chris discusses the early signs of condition

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There are around 850,000 people in the UK living with Alzheimer’s disease with that number steadily increasing through the years. Currently the condition costs the NHS more than £26 billion a year. However, a new food supplement could slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s disease, scientists have claimed.

A new study delves into the power of Omega-3 fatty acids and its impact on memory tests and testing of spinal fluid.

The study involved 33 patients, cyproheptadine injection 18 of which were supplemented with Omega-3s in the morning and evening.

The other participants were part of the control group.

Spinal fluid samples were collected with participants performing memory tests both as the start of the study and after six months to analyse the results.

“This study is unique,” said Yvonne Freund-Levi, researcher in neuroscience at örebro University.

Yvonne has collaborated with researchers at Karolinska Institute, Sahlgrenska University Hospital and Uppsala University to uncover the power of Omega 3 fatty acids and its reduction in risk for Alzheimer’s.

“It is the first ever to collect data on these new biomarkers in people with Alzheimer’s disease treated with Omega 3 fatty acids.”

The study revealed interesting results and saw a stark difference within the group given Omega 3 supplements.

The researchers found that at the end of the six months, participants who took Omega 3 supplements had 200 percent more DHA in their blood compared to those who took placebos.

Docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, is a type of Omega 3 fat that may improve many aspects of your health, from your brain to your heart.

An increase of two of the markers which are linked to damaged nerve cells was noted.

The researchers examined, among other things, whether Omega 3 transfers from the supplements to the brain and concluded that that was indeed the case.

“We can see that the memory function of the patients in the group that had taken Omega 3 is stable, whereas the patients in the control group have deteriorated,” added Yvonne.

“We are cautious about giving recommendations, but we know that starting early is by far the best thing – it is difficult to influence the disease at a later stage.

“The best piece of advice we have to offer at the moment is to be physically active and to include Omega 3 in your diet in the form of oily fish or as supplements.

“We can see a difference in the results of the memory tests.

“Patients who were taking Omega 3 supplements at an early stage of the disease scored better,” says Yvonne Freund-Levi.”

Other health benefits of Omega 3 supplements include:

  • Keeps the heart healthy
  • May help to treat certain mental disorders
  • May aid in weight loss
  • Supports eye health
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Supports healthy skin
  • Reduces liver fat
  • Improves symptoms of depression.

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