More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, a type of dementia linked to changes in memory, mood and behavior. While currently there is no known cure, one study offers hope in the form of healthy fats found naturally in fish.
Researchers in China conducted a study using mice and discovered that Omega-3 fatty acids may help remove “brain waste” linked to Alzheimer’s—mainly plaque deposits left behind by abnormal protein buildup. This is important because plaque interferes with neuron connections, which can lead to a decline in brain health.
Findings from the study reveal that mice fed an Omega-3-rich diet had less brain waste buildup when compared to a control group of mice with normal Omega-3 levels. But, when researchers added a fish oil supplement to the diet of the control group mice, the added boost significantly improved waste clearance.
Study authors believe the differences in the two groups of mice may have to do with how Omega-3 fatty acids affect the glymphatic system, which plays a key role in getting rid of brain waste. If Omega-3 supplementation is able to enhance glymphatic function, it may be able to help with Alzheimer’s treatment and prevention in the future.