Research: Levi and Colleagues,

Listed in Issue 227


Levi and Colleagues, Department of Neurobiology, Caring Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized OmegAD study to investigate whether oral supplementation with omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids (FAs) would change the FA profile of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).


Little is known about the transfer of essential fatty acids (FAs) across the human blood-brain barrier (BBB) in adulthood. In this study, the authors investigated whether oral supplementation with omega-3 (n-3) FAs would change the FA profile of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).


A total of 33 patients (18 receiving the n-3 FA supplement and 15 receiving placebo) were included in the study. These patients were participants in the double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized OmegAD study in which 204 patients with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) received 2.3 g n-3 FA [high in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)] or placebo daily for 6 months. CSF FA levels were related to changes in plasma FA and to CSF biomarkers of AD and inflammation.


At 6 months, the n-3 FA supplement group displayed significant increases in CSF (and plasma) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), DHA and total n-3 FA levels (P < 0.01), whereas no changes were observed in the placebo group. Changes in CSF and plasma levels of EPA and n-3 docosapentaenoic acid were strongly correlated, in contrast to those of DHA. Changes in DHA levels in CSF were inversely correlated with CSF levels of total and phosphorylated tau, and directly correlated with soluble interleukin-1 receptor type II. Thus, the more DHA increased in CSF, the greater the change in CSF AD/inflammatory biomarkers.


Oral supplementation with n-3 FAs conferred changes in the n-3 FA profile in CSF, suggesting transfer of these FAs across the BBB in adults.


Freund Levi Y(1), Vedin I, Cederholm T, Basun H, Faxén Irving G, Eriksdotter M, Hjorth E, Schultzberg M, Vessby B, Wahlund LO, Salem N Jr, Palmblad J. Transfer of omega-3 fatty acids across the blood-brain barrier after dietary supplementation with a docosahexaenoic acid-rich omega-3 fatty acid preparation in patients with Alzheimer's disease: the OmegAD study. J Intern Med. 275(4):428-36. Apr 2014 doi: 10.1111/joim.12166. Epub Jan 112014.

ICAN 2024 Skyscraper

Scientific and Medical Network 2

Cycle Around the World for Charity 2023

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro Charity 2023

top of the page