(Health-NewsWire.Net, November 04, 2015 ) Vancouver, BC -- Many studies, such as the study done in May 2012 by Paul C. Norris and Edward A. Dennis at the PNAS, have proven the efficacy of fish oil for the heart, brain, skin, digestion, eyes, circulation, and several other important health benefits. One of the most appealing benefits of fish oil could be boosting the brain and memory.
In a recent study done in March 2015 by Karin Yurko-Mauro, Dominik D. Alexander, and Mary E. Van Elswyk conducted by the University of Colorado Denver Health Science Library, people 55 and older with age-related memory complaints who took the fatty acid supplements for six months had almost double the reduction in errors on a test that measures learning and memory skills, compared with those who took a placebo.
"The benefit is roughly equivalent to having the learning and memory skills of someone three years younger," says researcher Karin Yurko-Mauro, PhD, associate director of clinical research at Martek Biosciences Corporation.
The problem is, "Most people do not eat enough fish to reap DHA's benefits", Yurko-Mauro says. Therefore, she and her colleagues put DHA supplements derived from algae to the test, they were tested against a placebo in 485 healthy people with an average age of 70.
The participants in the study had mild memory complaints that generally occur with age, such as forgetting names or appointments. They were randomly assigned to consume supplements containing either 900 milligrams of DHA or placebo, which they took once a day for six months.
At the beginning and end of the study, participants were given a memory test in which they were asked to look at patterns on a computer screen and later recall where each pattern was on the screen.
"It's almost like playing a video game", Yurko-Mauro says. "Everyone improves over time, as they become more familiar with the technique. But people who took DHA improved more."
Previously, certain studies have shown that people who eat a lot of fatty fish do better on memory tests and are at lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Animal research credited DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that's abundant in fatty fish and algae.
The benefits of DHA are plentiful; however, according to Psychology Today, "The ultimate goal of using omega-3 fatty acids is the reduction of cellular inflammation. Since eicosanoids derived from arachidonic acid (AA), an omega-6 fatty acid, are the primary mediators of cellular inflammation, EPA becomes the most important of the omega-3 fatty acids to reduce cellular inflammation for a number of reasons. First, EPA is an inhibitor of the enzyme delta-5-desaturase (D5D) that produces AA (1). The more EPA you have in the diet, the less AA you produce. This essentially chokes off the supply of AA necessary for the production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids (prostaglandins, thromboxanes, leukotrienes, etc.)"
Several peer-reviewed publications about EPA and DHA can be found at the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
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