Washington: Researchers have pinpointed how vitamin D3 and omega-3 fatty acids may enhance the immune system`s ability to clear the brain of amyloid plaques, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer`s disease.In a small pilot study, the scientists identified key genes and signaling networks regulated by vitamin D3 and the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) that may help control inflammation and improve plaque clearance.Previous laboratory work by the team helped clarify key mechanisms involved in helping vitamin D3 clear amyloid-beta, the abnormal protein found in the plaque. The new study extends the previous findings with vitamin D3 and highlights the role of omega-3 DHA."Our new study sheds further light on a possible role for nutritional substances such as vitamin D3 and omega-3 in boosting immunity to help fight Alzheimer`s," said study author Dr. Milan Fiala, a researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.For the study, scientists drew blood samples from both Alzheimer`s patients and healthy controls, then isolated critical immune cells called macrophages from the blood. Macrophages are responsible for gobbling up amyloid-beta and other waste products in the brain and body.
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