Omega-3s reduces severity of brain damage

Washington: A new study has found that a diet rich in omega-3s reduces the severity of brain damage after a stroke.

Universite Laval researchers co-directed by professors Jasna Kriz and Frederic Calon, showed that the extent of brain damage following a stroke was reduced by 25percent in mice that consumed DHA type omega-3s daily.

The team observed that the effects of stroke were less severe in mice that had been fed a diet rich in DHA for three months than in mice fed a control diet.

In mice from the DHA group, they saw a reduction in the concentrations of molecules that stimulate tissue inflammation and, conversely, a larger quantity of molecules that prevent the activation of cell death.

“This is the first convincing demonstration of the powerful anti-inflammatory effect of DHA in the brain,” highlighted Frederic Calon of Universite Laval’s Faculty of Pharmacy.

This protective effect results from the substitution of molecules in the neuronal membrane: DHA partially replaces arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid known for its inflammatory properties.

“The consumption of omega-3s creates an anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective environment in the brain that mitigates damage following a stroke,” stated Jasna Kriz, of Universite Laval’s Faculty of Medicine.

“It prevents an acute inflammatory response that, if not controlled, is harmful to brain tissue,” Kriz added.

The study was published online in the website of the journal Stroke.