Alzheimer’s is an insidious disease and the leading cause of dementia. It’s also one of the major causes of death in old age. Diet plays a major role in preventing the disease. In fact, having high concentrations of the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, in the blood can halve the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study that is published in Nutrients. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is found in oily fish and fish oil supplements. This essential fatty acid is also found in all our cell membranes (including nerve cells) and plays a key role in maintaining our general health and cognitive skills. Unfortunately, modern diets contain far too little omega-3, but science is not quite sure how much we need.
Oily fish and fish oil supplements contain EPA and DHA, two types of omega-3 fatty acids that are important for our brain, nervous system, and mental health throughout life. According to a new Irish study, young adults with higher blood levels of omega-3 are less likely to develop depression and anxiety. The researchers see a huge therapeutic potential in advising people to increase their omega-3 intake from oily fish or supplements. The problem is that modern diets contain far too little omega-3 and too much omega-6, which contributes to the increased rate of mental illness.