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Omega-3s Combined With Alpha Lipoic Acid May Slow Progression of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating illness that tends to occur later in life, causing memory loss and cognitive decline. A recent study suggests that taking a supplement containing omega-3 fatty acids and alpha lipoic acid (LA) may slow the progression of cognitive and functional decline associated with Alzheimer’s.

Participants in the study included 32 individuals with Alzheimer’s. Over the course of one year they were given one of three interventions:

1. a placebo;

2. omega-3 fatty acids;

3. omega-3 fatty acids plus LA.

The researchers measured biomarkers of oxidative stress as well as performance on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Activities of Daily Living/Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (ADL/IADL), and Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale (ADAS-Cog).

They found that supplementation with the omega-3 fatty acids and LA did not affect oxidative stress markers and that omega-3s with or without LA did not affect the results of the ADAS-Cog nor the ADL.

However, the omega-3 and LA combination was associated with a slower decline in MMSE and IADL while the omega-3s alone were associated with slower decline in IADL, when compared with the placebo.

Researchers from Oregon Health & Science University conducted the study. It was published in the January 2014 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including alleviating arthritis pain, improved mood, improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, and aiding your immune system.

Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in omega-3s.

Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that previous studies have linked with improvements in symptoms of diabetes. It can be found in yeast, liver, kidney, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes.

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