nutrition Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Prevent Dementia Research is still pending to prove whether Omega-3 Fatty Acids can prevent the development of dementia, but strong correlation exists that they can reduce risk. July 02, 2015 Written By: Dementia.org Published On July 02, 2015 Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that are frequently found in plant material, oily fishes and certain varieties of other meats. These essential fatty acids are vital for a healthy metabolism, and, if consumed regularly as part of a healthy diet, have been shown to reduce the risk for a number of illnesses—including cancer, cardiovascular disease and developmental disorders. Please Read This: Dementia From Nutritional Deficiencies Many diets are naturally insufficient in Omega-3s, so supplements are available to counteract the deficiencies, and promote the positive effects. Scientific studies have shown a correlation between Omega-3 fatty acids and a lowered risk for developing dementia, but the evidence is still debated. How Omega-3s May Prevent Dementia There are some conflicting studies in circulation, but some forms of dementia (most notably Alzheimer's disease) are thought to be somewhat preventable in individuals with a consistent consumption of sufficient levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. While Omega-3s are shown to benefit cognitive ability, their role is not yet demonstrated in preventing or reducing the effects of dementia. Some theories suggest that EPA and DHA, components of Omega-3s, do have a reductive affect on the formation of amyloid compounds (the buildup that is thought to be a primary cause of Alzheimer's, and other degenerative dementias). Despite this clinical reduction, the direct correlation between Omega-3s' effects and the reduction of dementia cases is still under investigation. You Might Like This: Dementia Risk Factors You Can & Can't Change The Latest Research Many studies have concluded that there is a verifiable inverse relationship between the intake of Omega-3s as part of a daily diet, and the risk of developing dementia. However, some of this evidence is inconclusive, and the effects of Omega-3s on reducing the symptoms and slowing the progression of the disease are debated. Further studies are required to solidify the assumptions that Omega-3 intake can prevent or delay the onset of dementia, though the evidence currently suggests it does correlate with a reduced risk. Sources Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids In addition to commercially available Omega-3 fish oil supplements, Omega-3 fatty acids naturally occur in a variety of different foods. These include: Oily fish, including salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, tuna and sardines Eggs (which are sometimes fortified with extra Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids) Flax seed Beef that has been grass-fed Other meats are sometimes available as fortified with Omega-3s. This is done through a carefully maintained diet that increases the natural levels of Omega-3s in the animal before slaughter. Possible Side Effects Taking no more than the recommended maximum of three grams of fish oil daily is recognized as safe, but there are a few minor side effects that can come with heavy doses: A fishy taste remaining in the mouth Upset stomach or nausea Loose stools Omega-3s have been shown to prevent amyloid formation to some degree, even though their direct role in preventing degenerative dementias has not been scientifically proven. In any case, Omega-3s are an essential fatty acid for any diet, as long as they are consumed in reasonable amounts. By ensuring an adequate intake of Omega-3s daily, you might be reducing your risk for dementia—but you'll certainly be reducing your risk for cardiovascular disease and some kinds of cancer.0635 Recommended Articles causes Dementia From Nutritional Deficiencies treatments Dementia Conditions That Are Treatable symptoms Early Symptoms Of Dementia causes Dementia Risk Factors You Can & Can't Change alzheimers disease Study Links Diacetyl To Alzheimer's Disease Most Searched Types Alzheimer's Huntington's Disease Parkinson's Disease Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Early-Onset Dementia Tags: nutrition prevention research treatments Learn More: End Stage Of Dementia The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) The Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE) Should I See A Psychiatrist, Or A Neurologist? Early-Onset Dementia Dementia Grief – What Makes It Unique?