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Omega-3 Fats May Significantly Reduce Damage from Stroke

Omega-3 Fats May Significantly Reduce Damage from Stroke

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New evidence shows that the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) found in seafood and marine oils, DHA and EPA, can significantly reduce damage from stroke in a mouse model when given immediately afterwards. Moreover, DHA and another PUFA demonstrate a positive effect on neurocognitive function in children.

About 15 million people worldwide have a stroke each year and risk increases with age. Ischemic stroke, caused by a blockage of a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain, accounts for about 87 percent of all cases. Investigators at Goethe University of Frankfurt, Germany, explored ischemic stroke in mice and the impact of an EPA and DHA emulsion administered 90 minutes afterwards, by examining the degree of damage, cellular function and neuroinflammation.

Treatment with the omega-3 emulsion significantly decreased the stroke area by 21 percent and lowered the severity of stroke by 50 percent. It also significantly improved brain cell function and reduced markers of inflammation.

“This pilot study demonstrated that DHA and EPA might aid in early medical intervention in ischemic stroke,” says Gunter Eckert, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Goethe. “Further investigation is in order and holds promise for human trials.”

DHA’s involvement in recovery from stroke was also explored by Nicolas Bazan, M.D., Ph....

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.