COLUMBIA, Md., July 28 -- Martek Biosciences Corporation (NASDAQ:MATK) today commented on the results of a study published in the July 2003 edition of Archives of Neurology. Data from the study indicated that weekly fish and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) consumption reduces the risk of Alzheimer disease by 60%.
The authors stated that "Notably, it was DHA that had the strongest protective effect against Alzheimer disease." In fact, the groups with the highest intake of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, demonstrated statistically significant reductions of 60% to 80% in the risk of developing Alzheimer disease. The authors reported that another omega-3 fatty acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), appeared to have no protective effect and alpha- linolenic acid, also an omega-3 fatty acid, was protective, but only among people with a specific genotype. The authors concluded from this and other studies that "Dietary intake of n-3 [omega-3] fatty acids and weekly consumption of fish may reduce the risk of incident Alzheimer disease."
The study examined fish consumption and the intake of DHA and other types of omega-3 fatty acids in an effort to identify any protective effect against Alzheimer disease. A total of 815 subjects, aged 65 to 94, who were initially unaffected by Alzheimer disease, participated in the study. Participants were followed up for an average of 3.9 years for the development of Alzheimer disease. Subsets of the 815 participants were categorized and evaluated according to their varying intake of fish, DHA, EPA, alpha-linolenic acid, or, a combination of omega-3 fatty acids including DHA, EPA and alpha-linolenic acid.
"This study indicates that DHA may play an important role in the prevention of Alzheimer disease," stated Henry "Pete" Linsert, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Martek. "It adds to existing evidence of the many benefits of DHA."
Martek Biosciences Corporation develops, manufactures and sells products from microalgae. The Company's products include: (1) specialty, nutritional oils for infant formula that aid in the development of the eyes and central nervous system in newborns; (2) nutritional supplements and food ingredients that may play a beneficial role in promoting mental and cardiovascular health throughout life; and (3) new, powerful fluorescent markers for diagnostics, rapid miniaturized screening, and gene and protein detection.
This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding Martek's products. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause future actual results to differ due to a variety of risk factors, including without limitation those factors set forth in Martek's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.