A group of scientists have published the findings from their research in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease that has pinpointed how vitamin D3 and omega-3 fatty acids may enhance the immune system's ability to clear the brain of amyloid plaques. Researchers 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.
Vitamin D3 and DHA boost immune response to help prevent amyloid protein tangles
Prior studies have identified the loss of normal ability to break down amyloid proteins before they develop into tangles or plaques as a key process in the development of the memory-robbing disease. Lead study author, Dr. Milan Fiala from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA commented “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.”
To perform their study, scientists drew blood samples from both Alzheimer's patients and healthy controls and then isolated critical immune cells called macrophages from the blood. Macrophages are responsible for splicing the amyloid proteins before they can aggregate around the nerve synapse, effectively stifling electrical and chemical transmissions throughout the brain. Scientists then incubated the immune cells with amyloid-beta and added either an active form of vitamin D3 or the omega-3 fatty acid DHA to gauge effectiveness on inflammation and amyloid-beta absorption.
Supplement daily with Vitamin D3 and Omega-3 Fats to Slash Alzheimer’s Disease Risk
The researchers determined that vitamin D3 and DHA greatly improved the clearance of amyloid-beta by macrophages in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and found subtleties in the effects the two substances had on the expression of inflammatory genes. The study team concluded “We may find that we need to carefully balance supplementation with vitamin D3 and omega-3 fatty acids, depending on each patient in order to help promote efficient clearing of amyloid-beta…. this is a first step in understanding what form and in which patients these nutrition substances might work best."
The study team observed that each nutrient (vitamin D and DHA) utilized different receptors and common signaling pathways to prevent amyloid protein aggregation leading to disease. Optimizing vitamin D blood saturation levels and supplementing with a molecularly distilled DHA omega-3 formulation can provide critical support in helping the brain to properly clear amyloid metabolic byproducts and help prevent Alzheimer’s dementia.