As the largest resource of information specific to women's brain health, we are sure you will find what you are looking for, and promise that you will discover new information.
Published on: July 19, 2014
by Lecia Bushak for The Daily Mail:
Researchers have found that fish oil may help alcoholics protect themselves from neuronal damage and dementia.
Fish oil has been touted in the past for its various health benefits, and now researchers also believe that it can have a positive effect on alcoholics.
A study published in PLOS ONE shows that omega-3 fish oil could help protect excessive drinkers against the neurodamage and dementia that’s caused by alcoholism. Drinking copious amounts of alcohol over a long period of time can increase the risk for dementia, but adding a fish oil compound protects brain cells against inflammation and neuronal cell death, the researchers found.
In the study, researchers exposed adult rat brain cells to alcohol amounts equivalent to about four times the legal amount for driving. These cells were then compared to cells that had been exposed to alcohol in addition to a certain fish oil compound known as omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). T
he study showed that the cells that had been exposed to the fish oil compound had about 90 percent less neuroinflammation and neuronal death, compared to those exposed to alcohol by itself. “Fish oil has the potential of helping preserve brain integrity in abusers,” Michael A. Collins, lead author of the study, said in a press release “At the very least, it wouldn’t hurt them.”
Fish oil is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain health, growth, development, and regulating inflammation. Omega-3 deficiencies have been associated with various health problems, like cardiovascular disease, cancer, and arthritis. Advocates of fish oil claim that taking supplements can help boost your health in these areas; as a result, many food companies have added it to their products and sold fish oil supplements.
Fish Oil: A Subject of Debate
Before you jump on the fish oil bandwagon, however, you might need to do some of your own research and discover that plenty of studies out there actually point to its myriad of potential negative effects. For example, a 2013 study published in theJournal of the National Cancer Institute suggested that fish oil was linked to a 43 percent higher risk of prostate cancer. Another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine measured its effects on cardiovascular health, and found that fish oil did not actually benefit patients as previously imagined.
Whether you’re struggling with excessive alcohol consumption, or you simply want to use fish oil for its other so-called health benefits, it might be better to simply eat fish or other sources of fish oil as opposed to taking the supplement. Eating regular fish will provide you with your essential serving of omega-3s while also giving you various other important nutrients that fish oil on its own doesn’t contain. “If you are taking [fish oils] on your own because you believe they are good for you, it’s time to rethink that strategy,” Dr. Howard LeWine writes on Harvard Health Publications. “If you don’t eat fish or other seafood, you can get omega-3s from ground flaxseed or flaxseed oil, chia seeds, walnuts, canola oil, and soy oil. One to two servings per day can help you avoid a deficiency of omega-3s.”
LeWine also notes that the controversy over fish oil will probably not be resolved any time soon: “[D]on’t expect any clarity about what to do any time soon,” he writes. “I expect other studies with flip-flopping results in the future.”
For young adults with autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease (AD), molecular markers can identify changes associated with the disease before clinical onset, according to a study published online Feb. 12 in JAMA Neurology. Yakeel T. Quiroz, Ph.D., from Massachusetts...
Foods can determine whether someone will suffer from dementia in later years, according to researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment in Rehovot. A large-scale international study that...
Taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is not an easy task. Caregiving is a long-term endeavour that is mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially demanding, and is a role that...
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.