A new study published recently in the highly respected, peer reviewed journal, Neurology, has found that  high levels of dietary omega 3 fats may help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Of 1219 people studied, the results showed that those with high omega 3 intake had low levels of a substance called beta amyloid, which is strongly linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.  For those people who consumed more than one additional gram of omega 3 daily (compared to average daily consumption of omega 3), levels of beta amyloid fell by 20% – 30%.

With an increasingly ageing population, the most recent and worrying prediction is that, by 2030, 20% of people over the age of 65 will have Alzheimer’s.  Whilst Alzheimer’s is certainly a complex and multi faceted problem, that omega 3 is only a single part of, it may well be prudent to check your own intake.

Omega 3 fats are found predominantly in nuts, seeds and oily fish and what we do know is that most people simply aren’t getting enough omega 3 on a daily basis.

In theory, upping your intake of omega 3s by increasing your intake of oily fish is fine, but we now also know that oily fish tends to containhigh levels of undesirable contaminants such as mercury and PCBs.  I personally take a daily supplement of pure, high quality omega 3 fish oil to make sure I’m achieving an optimal daily intake without the risk of overdosing on unwanted contaminants.

Are you getting enough?

References:

Gu Y, Schupf N, Scarmeas N, et al.  Neurology  Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e318258f7c2  ‘Nutrient intake and plasma beta amyloid.’

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