September 9, 2005
The fatty acid DHA and its natural derivative fight Alzheimer's-related damage, study says
By Karen Pallarito
FRIDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Louisiana State University scientists say they have discovered how the fatty acids found in fish oil help protect the human brain from the type of cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease.
Their study shows that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid found in coldwater fish such as mackerel, sardines and salmon, reduces levels of a protein known to cause damaging plaques in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.
What's more, the researchers discovered that a derivative of DHA, which they dubbed "neuroprotectin D1" (NPD1), is made in the human brain. That natural substance plays a key role, too, in protecting the brain from cell death, the study showed.