*A recent pre-clinical study has found DHA Omega-3 from algae may decrease an important risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. *
Conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles, using a mouse model, a diabetic rat model and cultured human cells, the study found that DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) increases the production of LR11 – a protein vital for clearing the brain of the enzymes that make the beta amyloid plaques thought to cause Alzheimer’s disease. The investigators used Martek’s DHA from microalgae for a portion of the research.
Alzheimer’s patients are known to have reduced levels of LR11 – a member of the ApoE/low density lipoprotein receptor family. The publication suggests that DHA, by increasing the production of LR11, may be useful for early intervention and prevention of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Late-onset Alzheimer’s is the most common form of the disease. It occurs later in life and has no obvious family inheritance pattern. However, several risk factor genes may interact with each other, as well as with environmental factors, to cause the disease.
This study adds to the growing body of evidence demonstrating that DHA may play a role in decreasing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US is now funding a multi-million dollar clinical study on the effects of vegetarian DHA from microalgae in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The vegetarian DHA used in the NIH study is manufactured by Martek. Results will be available in 2010.
Dr Edward B Nelson
“This study adds to the evidence supporting the important brain health benefits provided by an enhanced DHA status, and there are a number of ongoing studies investigating the role of DHA in reducing the risk for neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s,” said Martek VP Medical Research Dr Edward B Nelson.
Martek’s trademarked life’sDHA is a vegetarian form of DHA Omega-3 – a long chain Omega-3 fatty acid that serves as a primary building block for the brain and the eye and supports brain, eye and cardiovascular health throughout life.
There is a large and growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating that people of all ages, from infants to ageing adults, benefit from an adequate supply of DHA Omega-3 in the diet. Scientific reviews have noted the importance of DHA Omega-3 in proper brain and eye development and function, there are also clinical studies underway to evaluate its role in decreasing the prevalence of certain neurological disorders.
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