"Give with a free hand, but give only your own."
 -- J.R.R. Tolkien The Children of Hurin
- Fish Oil -

General Information:

Wikipedia entry:
Dr. Ray Shahelien entry: 


Fish Oil (EPA/DHA, docosahexaenoic acid)

DHA,Part of the Gerbil Food Cocktail for memory enhancement.

Liver Defect Likely Cause of DHA Deficiency in Alzheimer's Patients, UCI Study Finds
ScienceDaily (Sep. 9, 2010
UC Irvine researchers have discovered that markedly depleted amounts of an omega-3 fatty acid in brain tissue samples from Alzheimer's patients may be due to the liver's inability to produce the complex fat, also contained in fish-oil supplements. In postmortem liver tissue from Alzheimer's patients, the UCI team found a defect in the organ's ability to make DHA from shorter molecules present in leafy plants and other foods. Previous studies have shown that most brain DHA is manufactured in the liver. Non-Alzheimer's livers did not have this defect...

DHA 'Fish Oil' Supplements Do Not Seem to Slow Cognitive, Functional Decline in Alzheimer's Disease
ScienceDaily (Nov. 3, 2010)

Patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD) who received supplementation with the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), believed to possibly reduce the risk of AD, did not experience a reduction in the rate of cognitive and functional decline, compared to patients who received placebo, according to a study in the November 3 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on aging...

DHA Improves Memory and Cognitive Function in Older Adults, Study Suggests
ScienceDaily (Nov. 9, 2010)

A study published in the November edition of Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association suggests that taking docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may improve memory and learning in older adults with mild cognitive impairments. This is promising news for many aging Americans who are searching for options to maintain memory and support overall cognitive health...

Cognitive findings of an exploratory trial of docosahexaenoic acid and lutein supplementation in older women.
Nutr Neurosci. 2008 Apr;11(2):75-83.
Johnson EJ, McDonald K, Caldarella SM, Chung HY, Troen AM, Snodderly DM.

Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA. elizabeth.johnson@tufts.edu

INTRODUCTION: Low dietary intake of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and/or foods rich in lutein may be associated with increased risk of cognitive decline in the elderly.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The cognitive benefit of DHA and lutein in unimpaired elder women was explored in the context of a 4-month, double-blind, intervention trial of DHA and lutein supplementation for eye health. Forty-nine women (aged 60-80 years) were randomized to receive DHA (800 mg/day; n = 14), lutein (12 mg/day; n = 11), a combination of DHA and lutein (n = 14) or placebo (n = 10). Subjects underwent cognitive tests measuring verbal fluency, memory, processing speed and accuracy, and self-reports of mood at randomization and upon completion of the trial.

RESULTS: Following supplementation, verbal fluency scores improved significantly in the DHA, lutein, and combined treatment groups (P < 0.03). Memory scores and rate of learning improved significantly in the combined treatment group (P < 0.03), who also displayed a trend toward more efficient learning (P = 0.07). Measures of mental processing speed, accuracy and mood were not affected by supplementation.

CONCLUSIONS: These exploratory findings suggest that DHA and lutein supplementation may have cognitive benefit for older adults.

PMID: 18510807 [PubMed]

Algal DHA Omega-3 Improved Memory and Learning in Healthy Adults 55 and Older

"... MIDAS found that healthy people with memory complaints who took 900 mg algal DHA capsules for six months had almost double the reduction in errors on a test that measures learning and memory performance versus those who took a placebo, a benefit roughly equivalent to having the learning and memory skills of someone three years younger. The DHA was well-tolerated and subjects taking the DHA also experienced a lower heart rate, providing a significant cardiovascular benefit...

Algal DHA improves memory function in healthy aging adults

Good Diets Fight Bad Alzheimer's Genes: Diets High in Fish Oil Have a Beneficial Effect in Patients at Risk, Researcher Says

ScienceDaily (Feb. 15, 2011)... In preliminary results, the researchers are exhilarated to find that a diet high in Omega 3 oils and low in cholesterol appears to significantly reduce the negative effects of the APOE4 gene in mouse models... "The main take-away message here is that good diets can alleviate the effects of bad genes..."

Supplementing with DHA (fish oil) increases BDNF?  If you find a good source for uridine (UMP), please let me know!

Chronic Administration of DHA and UMP Improves the Impaired Memory of Environmentally Impoverished Rats
Sarah Holguin, Yi Huang, Jenny Liu, and Richard Wurtman
UMP and DHA may protect the brains of IC reared animals by restoring neuronal function to levels normally observed in brains of control or EC rats. Rats exposed to IC conditions [43] or made DHA-deficient [44] have decreased brain weight and size, while DHA administration increases brain weight and size [44]. Brains of IC reared rats also exhibit decreased neurogenesis [45] and synaptogenesis [46], DHA has been shown to promote neurite outgrowth in hippocampal neurons [47] and uridine promotes neurite outgrowth from PC12 cells [24]. DHA supplementation increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in rats [48] while consuming a diet deficient in DHA decreased these levels [49]; BDNF induces neurogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus [50]..

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Updated: July 2, 2012
Inception: July 2, 2012