How Omega-3 fatty acids help your brain

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Is it true that Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your brain? 
According to a new study published on Neurology the answers seems to be “yes”: people with high Omega-3 levels from marine sources may have a delayed loss of cerebral mass in later life. Doctor James Pottala of the Sioux Falls, University of South Dakota, co-author of this study, explains that 30-40% of fatty acids in cortical gray matter is composed of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), one of the Omega-3 fatty acids. For this reason, researchers suggested a possible correlation between polyunsaturated fatty acids and cerebral mass. Doctor Pottala and his colleagues measured polyunsaturated fatty acids in red blood cells of 1,111 women, who then underwent MRI eight years later at an average age of 78 years old. Results showed that eight years later participants with higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids had a bigger cerebral volume, that is, they showed a delay of 1-2 years in the onset of cerebral atrophy. These results adds up to those obtained from previous studies and all suggest that an increased polyunsaturated fatty acid intake, from proper supplementation, can delay cerebral atrophy and possibly dementia. 

Source: Neurology 82 February 4, 2014. Pp 435-442 Published online before print January 22, 2014

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