Fish Oil Protects Against Diseases Like Parkinsonâ€™s
Dr. Nicolas Bazan presented new research at the American Society for Nutritionâ€™s Experimental Biology 2009 Meeting suggesting that an omega 3 fatty acid protects brain cells against diseases like Parkinsonâ€™s and Huntingtonâ€™s.
With funding from The National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Bazan and his colleagues created a cell model with a mutation of the Ataxin-1 gene. The defective gene induces the misfolding of the protein produced by the gene, which then cannot be properly processed by cell machinery. The result is a tangled clump of toxic protein that eventually kills the cell.
Dr. Bazanâ€™s research found that an omega 3 fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) incorporated in the diet prevents the protein from misfolding. The study could lead to new therapeutic treatments using a naturally occurring molecule in the human brain derived from DHA. Common sources of DHA include cold water fatty fish and fish oil supplements.