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Nutr Rev. 2010 Dec;68 Suppl 2:S102-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00345.x.

Dietary fatty acids and the aging brain.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA.


Aging contributes to physiological decline and vulnerability to disease. In the brain, even with minimal neuronal loss, aging increases oxidative damage, inflammation, demyelination, impaired processing, and metabolic deficits, particularly during pathological brain aging. In this review, the possible role of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the prevention of age-related disruption of brain function is discussed. High-fat diabetogenic diets, cholesterol, and the omega-6 fatty acid arachidonate and its prostaglandin metabolites have all been implicated in promoting the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Evidence presented here shows DHA acts to oppose this, exerting a plethora of pleiotropic activities to protect against the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease.

© 2010 International Life Sciences Institute.

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