Research that appeared in The Journal of Neuroscience (2009;29(28):9078–9089) looked at mice specially bred to develop the types of amyloid plaques in the brain that are typical in human patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The mice received either their typical diet, or a high-fat diet. Some of each dietary group also received supplements containing fish oil rich in the omega 3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and curcumin, a component of turmeric. Mice given the high fat diet were more prone to changes in the brain similar to Alzheimer’s disease than were mice given the “normal” diet. The researchers found that supplementation with the fish oil, or a combination of fish oil with curcumin, negated this effect, making the mice less likely to form Alzheimer’s-like lesions in the brain. The supplementation also improved memory and cognition in the mice.
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