Life Extension Update
Tuesday, January 17, 2012. In the January 11, 2012 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers at Queen Mary University of London report that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), may help protect peripheral nerves from injury and stimulate recovery. Damage to the peripheral nerves can cause symptoms ranging from pain to paralysis, and recovery is often limited.
For the current research, Adina Michael-Titus and her associates utilized normal mice or mice bred to express a gene that results in an increase in endogenous omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids accompanied by a decrease in omega 6 fatty acids. Individual peripheral nerve cells derived from both types of mice were mechanically injured or deprived of oxygen and assessed for viability.
Nerve cells derived from mice that had higher omega-3 levels had significantly more protection from either type of injury compared to cells derived from normal mice. When animals from each group underwent injury to their sciatic nerves, those in the modified group experienced greater functional recovery after one week and less muscle atrophy in comparison with the normal mice.
"Our previous research has shown that these fatty acids could have beneficial effects in a number of neurological conditions," explained Dr Michael-Titus, who is a professor of neuroscience at Barts and The London Medical School and head of the Neurotrauma and Neurodegeneration group in the Centre for Neuroscience and Trauma at Queen Mary University of London. "More work is needed but our research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids can protect damaged nerve cells, which is a critical first step in a successful neurological recovery."
This supplement should be taken in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise program. Individual results are not guaranteed and results may vary.
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