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Updated: 07/25/2014 08:00:00AM

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fish oil for your brain

A new study adds evidence to the argument that fish oil supplementation could be one of the best preventives we have against the disease — at least for people not at genetic risk of developing it. Researchers from Rhode Island Hospital studied three groups of older adults, ages 55 to 90, using neuropsychological tests and brain MRIs every six months. Results showed that adults taking fish oil who had not yet developed Alzheimer’s experienced significantly less cognitive decline and brain shrinkage than adults not taking fish oil. Unfortunately, the study did not specify the amount of fish oil taken, nor the percentage of EPA and DHA in the supplements. These are promising results, but they have one notable caveat: Benefits of taking fish oil only held true for people lacking the main genetic risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s, known as ApoE4. The researchers think that people with ApoE4 are incapable of metabolizing DHA, the fatty acid in fish oil thought to promote cognitive benefits.

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