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2012-05-16

Fish Oil Improves Gene Expression in Alzheimer's Disease

So, last week I covered a study showing omega-3 fatty acids are associated with lower beta-amyloid, which shed some light on how omega-3s impact the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Now, I've just come across another new study that suggests that omega-3s induce or inhibit the expression of various genes involved in the theoretical pathogenesis of AD.

This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study study found dietary fish oil supplementation for 6 months may have effects on expression of genes which influence AD.

Baseline expressions of approximately 8000 genes were assessed by gene array. After 6 months, the omega-3 fatty acid group displayed up-regulation of nine genes, and down-regulation of ten genes, which correspond to regulation of inflammation and neurodegeneration. Results suggest that 6 months of dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may affect expression of genes that might influence inflammatory processes and could be of significance for AD patients.

This may be "upstream" to the previous study on beta-amyloid, as I would hazard to guess that beta-amyloid formation would be a result of inflammation. Either way, it's great to see our understanding of this horrible disease deepen.


Source: Effects of DHA- Rich omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Gene Expression in Blood Mononuclear Leukocytes: The OmegAD Study

Other posts on Alzheimer's and dementia:
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