Omega-3 and B vitamins offer Alzheimer’s hope

A new study into Alzheimer’s disease has found that omega-3 fats and B vitamins can slow brain shrinkage by up to 73% in those with high homocysteine levels and initial signs of memory decline.

The research, led by Professor David Smith, the scientific advisor for Food for the Brain, was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The study involved 168 people aged 70-plus showing the first signs of memory decline who were given either high dose B vitamins or a placebo. After the researchers closely monitored brain shrinkage they found that those taking the B vitamins who started with high omega-3 levels in their blood had 73% less brain shrinkage, reaching a similar percentage of shrinkage as found in healthy elderly people with no memory decline.

The least brain shrinkage occurred in those subjects who had high levels of omega-3 fats and homocysteine, which indicates poor vitamin B levels.

“Something so simple as keeping your omega-3 levels high and supplementing B vitamins could dramatically reduce a person’s risk,” commented Smith. “We should be screening people for the early signs of cognitive impairment and then testing their homocysteine and omega-3 status.”