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Omega-3 DHA fat dampens brain inflammation to lower stroke risk, improves cognitive function

Thursday, September 15, 2011 by: John Phillip
Tags: omega-3, cognitive function, health news

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(NaturalNews) Several recently published articles highlight the critical importance of Omega-3 fats from fatty fish consumption and fish oil supplements. Scientists publishing in the journal Stroke demonstrate that the active DHA Omega-3 fat component helps brain cells to better withstand the stress load placed on the aging brain to lower the risk of a life-altering stroke by as much as a quarter. Researchers from the Rhode Island Hospital's Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders Center have found that DHA from supplements alter the critical brain chemistry and structure to prevent cognitive decline and abnormal brain aging. A wealth of scientific evidence is mounting to document the importance of Omega-3 fats to assist metabolic disorders that lead to dementia, stroke and chronic disease.

Inflammation of the vital nerves and critical structures of the brain is a precursor to stress that can play an important role in the development of a life-altering stroke. Researchers publish the result of their work designed to determine if Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, specifically the long-chain DHA component, would be sufficient to reduce neural inflammation and to lower risk from a stroke.

To conduct the study, mice were broken into three groups. The first group was supplemented with a DHA-enriched diet; the second group consumed a DHA-depleted diet; and the final mice were fed a control diet. After a period of three months, scientists found that only the group with the DHA-enriched diet experienced lower levels of neuroinflammation and had 25% less tissue injury following an induced stroke. They also noted that long-term supplementation resulted in a healthy buildup of DHA fat in brain tissue resulting in an enhanced Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acid ratio.

Lead author on the study, Dr. Jasna Kriz concluded: "This is the first convincing demonstration of the powerful anti-inflammatory effect of DHA Docosahexaenoic acid Essential Omega 3 fatty acid integral to the health of all cell membranes, nerve and brain function. The consumption of omega-3s creates an anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective environment in the brain that mitigates damage following a stroke."

Additional evidence of the importance of Omega-3 fats from fish consumption or supplementation is provided by researchers from Rhode Island Hospital. A study was designed using 819 senior participants broken into three groups: those with normal cognition, with mild cognitive impairment, and with Alzheimer's Disease. 117 individuals were taking fish oil supplements during the three year course of the study. Taking fish oil supplements was associated with less brain shrinkage and improved cognitive function during the study period.

The lead author, Dr. Lori Daiello concludes, "In the imaging analyses for the entire study population, we found a significant positive association between fish oil supplement use and average brain volumes in two critical areas utilized in memory and thinking." DHA is preferentially conserved for the construction of neural structures and should be an essential part of your regular menu (from fatty fish) or as a molecularly distilled and purified supplement (500 mg to 1 gram per day) to lower stroke risk and prevent cognitive decline.

[Editor's Note: NaturalNews is strongly against the use of all forms of animal testing. We fully support implementation of humane medical experimentation that promotes the health and wellbeing of all living creatures.]

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About the author:
John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.
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