Dietary omega-3 supplements can penetrate the blood-brain barrier


A Swedish study presented in the Journal of Internal Medicine establishes that dietary omega-3 supplements can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, allowing the fatty acids to reach the brain. The blood-brain barrier separates the central nervous system from blood, preventing or slowing the passage of some chemical compounds, radioactive ions and disease-causing organisms (such as viruses).

Why is this important? Because this finding has implications for the use of omega-3 as a treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, since research has shown that people suffering from it have lower levels of this fatty acids in the cerebrospinal fluid (the liquid that surrounds the central nervous system).

A total of 33 patients (18 receiving the omega-3 supplement and 15 receiving placebo) were included in the study. At six months, the omega-3 group displayed significant increases in the cerebrospinal fluid (and plasma) EPA and DHA levels, but no changes were observed in the placebo group.

Alzheimer’s disease could be cured through the regular intake of omega-3 supplements.