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Unlocking the Alzheimer's Conundrum

This morning's USA Today features an emotionally charged story about a young woman's efforts to avoid the terrible fate of her mother who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease at a very early age (57).

What I like about very much about the story: Eating a far better diet than most Americans currently do can optimize their health. And, certainly that's a much better alternative than taking a drug. However, much of the story offers advice about eating store-bought fish as a healthy alternative.

Unfortunately, the dangers of eating most fish can outweigh the benefits, due to the excessive levels of mercury that currently exist in our environment. It's a shame pollution has contaminated one of the best food sources we have. The best way to replace the omega-3 fats that promote good health is to consume a high-quality fish oil.

That's very important because Americans typically don't get enough DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid known to play a crucial role in memory and learning. According to one study cited in the story, patients with the highest blood levels of DHA cut their risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer's, by half. On the not-so-good side, however, the patients in this study ate two to three fish meals a week to get that brain protection.

USA Today November 17, 2004

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