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DHA is a Powerful Ally in The Battle Against Alzheimer’s – How to Get DHA in the Alzheimer’s Diet

Posted by on Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

In the fight against Alzheimer’s disease it seems our most powerful weapons are changing what we eat. By incorporating the Alzheimer’s diet into our daily meal plan, foods for Alzheimer’s can help to delay the onset, and improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s. There are several nutrients that are particularly effective according to recent medical research, and DHA is one example. But just what is DHA, and how can it work to help promote Alzheimer’s prevention?

what's DHA for Alzheimer's Diet

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What’s DHA?

DHA or Docosahexaenoic acid is an Omega-3 fatty acid that is showing positive results in various studies on Alzheimer’s disease. This fatty acid is a primary component in the human brain and evidence is mounting that it is crucial to battling degenerative cognitive disorders and specifically in fighting Alzheimer’s disease.

DHA is normally found in animals that have seafood as a normal part of their diet. However, humans don’t always eat seafood, and must obtain DHA through an internal biological process, thus, we often have low levels of DHA. The reason this is so important is that low levels of DHA have been discovered in those with Alzheimer’s. Studies are actively being done to make a direct correlation between DHA levels and the development of Alzheimer’s.


 One such study was conducted at Tufts University and researchers discovered that an increase in DHA in the blood lowered the risk of acquiring dementia, which can be a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. Medical science is working hard on finding a method of prevention for cognitive disorders today, and DHA has shown much promise. The participants in 

In another study conducted by neuroscientists at UCLA, researchers found out that a diet high in Omega-3 helps to protect the brain against memory loss and also provides protection against cell damage in those with Alzheimer’s disease. The study also discovered that adding Omega-3 fatty acid DHA might lower the risk of getting Alzheimer’s. The study was conducted using two separate groups of mice. One group was fed a diet that was not healthy, while the other group was given a diet rich in DHA. The result was that the group with the DHA diet performed much better in memory tests. Even though the mice were genetically predisposed to acquiring Alzheimer’s, the DHA seemed to offer mice protection against getting the disease. 

A research project conducted by at Martek Biosciences Corporation used a random, double blind six month study to discover the effects of DHA on humans. The participants were given 900 mg of DHA per day and were then given memory tests. After the study researchers found that the participants that were taking the DHA performed much better than their counterparts who only received the placebo. Researchers concluded that this level of performance was equivalent to having the learning and memory skills of someone three years younger. 

Foods High in DHA/Omega 3 Fatty Acids for Alzheimer’s Diet

Omega 3 DHA in Alzheimer's Diet


 There are many delicious foods rich in DHA  recommended in the Alzheimer’s diet, including; flax seeds, ground , Walnuts, wild caught salmon,  sardines, halibut, grass fed beef, soybeans, scallops, shrimp, and tofu.

Tasty Recipes with Foods High in DHA

There are many tasty recipes for foods rich in DHA, such as Stir Fry  Walnut  Shrimp with fresh ginger-yum!

Stir fry walnut shrimp for Alzheimer's Diet


  In Conclusion

The reason DHA is in the forefront of neurological research is the fact that the human body is dependent on it for a variety of mental functions. Since it is a primary component of the brain, this fatty acid is imperative to proper cognitive function. Another reason that DHA continues to get press is that supply is readily available and for the most part can be purchased cheaply. Fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines are oily fish that are all high in Omega-3. While the results of the study are positive, more research remains to be done. But so far it looks like taking DHA could protect the brain from a variety of cognitive diseases and has no known negative effects. Adding DHA to your diet is an inexpensive and potentially valuable addition to fighting cognitive decline including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. For more information on how much DHA is needed to adequately help with Alzheimer’s prevention, pick up “The Alzheimer’s Diet” book today written by Richard S. Isaacson, M.D. and Christopher N. Ochner, Ph.D.

For more easy to follow nutrition advice check out The Alzheimer’s Diet: A Step-by-Step Nutritional Approach to Memory Loss Prevention and Treatment, or visit to learn more about Neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson's 9 week diet plan and his cutting edge approach in the fight against AD in Alzheimer's Treatment | Alzheimer's Prevention: A Patient and Family Guide 2012 Edition. Also, sign up for the newsletter to get the latest updates in AD treatment and prevention news.

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