In a new study published online in The FASEB Journal, researchers find that omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish oil, could facilitates the clearance of waste from the brain.
In addition, omega-3 could promote the clearance of metabolites including amyloid-β peptides, which is crucially involved in Alzheimer’s disease.
To make this discovery, scientists first used mice to investigate the effect of omega-3 PUFAs on the clearance of waste from the brain.
Compared to the wild-type mice, the experimental mice with enriched endogenous omega-3 PUFAs significantly promote the clearance function in the brain, including the Aβ clearance from the brain.
When wild-type mice were supplemented with fish oil, which contains high concentrations of omega-3 PUFAs, researchers found that fish oil-supplemented mice also improved the clearance function in the brain.
Based on the findings, researchers suggest that omega-3 PUFAs can help maintain the brain homeostasis.
This may provide benefits in a number of neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, and sleep impairment, among others.
Researchers also suggest that this study should not turn people’s attention away from the roles of these substances in maintaining vascular health.
While people might bear in mind that omega-3 fatty acids may impact neurons, glia, and astrocytes, the brain is an extremely vascularized organ.
Citation: Ren H, et al. (2016). Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids promote amyloid-β clearance from the brain through mediating the function of the glymphatic system. FASEB J, published online, doi:10.1096/fj.201600896.
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