Archive for the ‘Alzheimer’s Disease’ Category

Alzheimer plaques reduced by vitamin D and DHA

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

The February 5, 2013 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease published the finding of researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles that active forms of vitamin D3 and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) improve the ability of immune cells known as macrophages to clear amyloid-beta, a toxic protein that occurs in elevated amounts in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients.

Milan Fiala and his colleagues “suggest that low vitamin D3 and docosahexaenoic acid intake and/or poor anabolic production of 1,25D3/resolvin D1 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells could contribute to Alzheimer’s disease onset/pathology.”

The team isolated macrophages from the blood of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and healthy control subjects and incubated them with amyloid-beta prior to administering 1alpha, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D3) or resolvin D1, an active form of DHA. While both nutrients increased the macrophages’ ability to remove amyloid-beta and decrease amyloid-beta-induced cell death, they did so by utilizing different receptors.

The authors observe that macrophages from Alzheimer’s disease patients express inflammatory genes in different ways than the controls and that transcription of specific inflammatory genes is increased or decreased in these patients. “Further study may help us identify if these two distinct transcription patterns of inflammatory genes could possibly distinguish either two stages or two types of Alzheimer’s disease,” remarked coauthor Mathew Mizwicki.

“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,” Dr Fiala stated. “We may find that we need to carefully balance the 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.”