Seniors: Boost Your DHA Levels With Fish Oil

In another case of why your doctor should recommending fish oil, especially for seniors, patients with high levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in their blood slashed their dementia risk by nearly half.

Scientists reviewed the medical data, dietary intake and blood samples from some 900 seniors (the median age being 76) over a nine-year timeframe. Over the course of the study, nearly 100 patients developed dementia, and 71 succumbed to Alzheimer's.

The average level of DHA in a patient's blood amounted to 3.6 percent of all fatty acids. However, the top 25 percent of the study participants had DHA levels above 4.2 percent, the level at which conferred a 47 percent reduction in dementia risks, even when taking into account disparate variables like smoking, BMI and diabetes.

And, eating fish twice a week or more -- not at all a safe choice -- lowered a patient's dementia by just 39 percent, a good reason to consider a high-quality fish or krill oil your optimal source for DHA.

Archives of Neurology, Vol. 63, No. 11, November 2006: 1545-1550

New York Times November 14, 2006 Registration Required