Alzheimer's Disease wreaks havoc on a brain. In the past, there was nothing that could be done to stop this disease from laying waste to a life. Family and friends could only look on helplessly, as it ran its pernicious course.
There is still too much mystery surrounding Alzheimer's but research has been making headway. One of the bright lights that has been emerging in the struggle against Alzheimer's over the past 20 years, emanates from the lowly and unlikely source of fish oil.
Omega-3 fatty acids are called "essential fatty acids". They are so named because they are not manufactured by the body and must be taken in through diet. Omega-3 fatty acids, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are important for healthy brain function. And they bring a hefty contribution to the fight against Alzheimer's. Lower levels of omega-3 seem tied to a greater risk of succumbing to Alzheimer's. Higher levels of them seem to substantially reduce this risk.
A deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids is quite common. Very few of us will be taking in enough of this element in our standard North American diet. Most foods just do not contain omega-3. It is important that we make a concerted effort to incorporate this health support into our diets, through foods or supplements, or both.
For the fish lover, cold water fish are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Choices here would include anchovies, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, tuna, and whitefish.
But with the very real concerns many have about mercury, a large part of the population aren't eating fish anymore. Still, the need for omega-3 remains. Those who prefer to avoid fish can take fish oil or krill oil in liquid or capsule form.
There are other dietary options to consider as well. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in some vegetables, nuts and oils. Avocados and green leafy vegetables are healthy choices. Good sources of omega-3 from nuts are almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts. Oils that contain omega-3 are olive and peanut oils.
A well-oiled brain is a healthy brain. And a healthy brain is one that has an edge in the battle against Alzheimer's Disease.