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Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2015 Mar;18(2):139-46. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000141.

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and brain aging.

Author information

1
aUnité de Neurobiologie de l'Olfaction, NBO U1197, INRA, Jouy-en-Josas bINSERM UMR 894, Centre de Psychiatrie et Neurosciences, Paris cUnité MICALIS, UMR 1319, INRA, Jouy-en-Josas dUnité NutriNeurO, UMR INRA 1286, Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, Bordeaux, France.

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

The literature on the influence of dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (ω-3 PUFA) on brain aging has grown exponentially during the last decade. Many avenues have been explored but no global picture or clear evidence has emerged. Experimental studies have shown that ω-3 PUFA is involved in many neurobiological processes that are involved in neurotransmission and neuroprotection, indicating that these PUFAs may prevent age-related brain damage. Human studies have revealed only a weak link between ω-3 PUFA status and cognitive aging, whereas interventional studies have yet to confirm it. The purpose of this review is to analyze the developments in the area during the last 2 years.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Human brain MRI studies have confirmed previous findings that ω-3 PUFA can protect the brain during aging; two intervention studies obtained clear evidence. We also analyzed the experimental data clarifying the involvement of ω-3 PUFA in neurotransmission, neuroprotection (including prevention of peroxidation, inflammation, and excitotoxicity), and neurogenesis, thereby helping the brain cope with aging.

SUMMARY:

These recent human and experimental studies provide support for and clarification of how ω-3 PUFA protect against brain aging and highlight the main lines for future research.

PMID:
25501348
DOI:
10.1097/MCO.0000000000000141
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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