Fish Oil Could Reduce Risk of Alcoholic Dementia

Fish Oil Could Reduce Risk of Alcoholic Dementia

By Bryan Le 07/21/14

Drinking can cause long-term neurological damage and dementia, but these effects may be prevented with fish oil.

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Long-term alcohol use is known to increase the risk of brain damage and dementia, but staunch booze fans can fight off these side effects with fish oil, according to researchers in a new study.

Scientists from Loyola University Health System gave rats alcohol equivalent to about four times the legal limit for driving for several days. Afterwards, they gave some of the rats a compound found in fish oil called omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). They found that the rats exposed to the fish oil had 90% lower neuroinflammation and neural brain cell death.

"Fish oil has the potential of helping preserve brain integrity in chronic alcohol abusers," said lead study author Michael Collins in a press statement. "At the very least, it is unlikely that it would hurt them."

The researchers still think that further studies on fish oil and alcohol dementia needed to be done on adult rats before knowing for sure whether or not the popular supplement can help humans. The same team of researchers found before that moderate drinking reduces the risk of dementia in 2011.

Aside from reducing brain damage and dementia, omega-3 fish oil has been shown to reduce the desire for alcohol, according to a University School of Medicine study.