Amyloid-Î² (AÎ²) protein accumulates in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) because of defective AÎ² phagocytosis by monocytes and macrophages. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil, have been shown to partially recover AÎ² phagocytosis in vitro. Now, research reveals that supplementation with omega-3 and antioxidants can have significant effects in patients with minor cognitive impairment (MCI).
Patients took a liquid supplement, containing docosahexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, botanical antioxidants, vitamin D3 and resveratrol daily for 4–17 months. In patients with MCI and normal cognition – but not in those with AD – the supplement was associated with increased phagocytosis of AÎ² by monocytes and increased macrophage levels of resolvin D1, which stimulates phagocytosis.
“Cognitive benefits of omega-3 supplementation in patients with MCI should be tested in a clinical trial,” the authors conclude in The FASEB Journal (2015;29:2681–2689).
 Milan F, Ramesh CH, Bien S et al. Ï-3 Supplementation increases amyloid-Î² phagocytosis and resolvin D1 in patients with minor cognitive impairment. FASEB J 2015;29:2681–2689. doi:10.1096/fj.14-264218.