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Scientists detail how vitamin D and omega-3 fats synergistically halt Alzheimer's plaque formation

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 by: John Phillip
Tags: Alzheimer''s, vitamin D, omega-3 fats

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(NaturalNews) Alzheimer's disease is characterized by a loss of short-term memory, cognition and thought processes that define a person's personality, and new cases are exploding exponentially. Though allopathic physicians and researchers maintain there is no known cause or treatment for the ultimately fatal illness, alternative practitioners understand the etiology has evolved from decades of living an unhealthy lifestyle. Dietary transgressions, exposure to cosmetic and household pollutants, lack of physical activity and long-term nutritional deficiencies all combine to promote Alzheimer's disease development and progression.

A group of scientists have published the findings from their research in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease that has pinpointed how vitamin D3 and omega-3 fatty acids may enhance the immune system's ability to clear the brain of amyloid plaques. Researchers identified key genes and signaling networks regulated by vitamin D3 and the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) that may help control inflammation and improve plaque clearance.

Prior studies have identified the loss of normal ability to break down amyloid proteins before they develop into tangles or plaques as a key process in the development of the memory-robbing disease. Lead study author, Dr. Milan Fiala from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA commented "Our new study sheds further light on a possible role for nutritional substances such as vitamin D3 and omega-3 in boosting immunity to help fight Alzheimer's."

Vitamin D3 and DHA boost immune response to help prevent amyloid protein tangles

To perform their study, scientists drew blood samples from both Alzheimer's patients and healthy controls and then isolated critical immune cells called macrophages from the blood. Macrophages are responsible for splicing the amyloid proteins before they can aggregate around the nerve synapse, effectively stifling electrical and chemical transmissions throughout the brain. Scientists then incubated the immune cells with amyloid-beta and added either an active form of vitamin D3 or the omega-3 fatty acid DHA to gauge effectiveness on inflammation and amyloid-beta absorption.

The researchers determined that vitamin D3 and DHA greatly improved the clearance of amyloid-beta by macrophages in patients with Alzheimer's disease, and found subtleties in the effects the two substances had on the expression of inflammatory genes. The study team concluded "We may find that we need to carefully balance supplementation with vitamin D3 and omega-3 fatty acids, depending on each patient in order to help promote efficient clearing of amyloid-beta.... this is a first step in understanding what form and in which patients these nutrition substances might work best."

The study team observed that each nutrient (vitamin D and DHA) utilized different receptors and common signaling pathways to prevent amyloid protein aggregation leading to disease. Optimizing vitamin D blood saturation levels and supplementing with a molecularly distilled DHA omega-3 formulation can provide critical support in helping the brain to properly clear amyloid metabolic byproducts and help prevent Alzheimer's dementia.

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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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