ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 11 -- Results from a new study conducted at Tufts University suggest that having increased docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels in the blood and eating about three fish meals each week are associated with a significant 48 percent reduction in the risk of Alzheimer's disease in elderly men and women.
Researchers at Tufts University in Boston measured the fatty acid content of plasma obtained from 1137 men and women with a mean age of 75 who were part of the Framingham Heart Study. The subjects' diets were assessed by questionnaire and those free of dementia were followed for a mean of 10 years. During the study they were assessed for the onset of new dementia including Alzheimer's Disease.
Participants who had diets rich in DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, reduced their risk of developing dementia considerably compared with those whose diets contained low amounts of DHA. These results are consistent with a study published in Archives of Neurology in July, 2003.
"These dramatic results show how older adults can play a significant role in their neurological health by increasing their intake of fish, fish oil or especially, DHA," said Ernst Schaefer, M.D., senior scientist and director of the Lipid Metabolism Laboratory at Tufts University.
"Until now there have only been two predictors for Alzheimer's Disease, age and genotype," stated Henry "Pete" Linsert, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Martek. "This study suggests that low dietary intake of DHA may be a risk factor for Alzheimer's Disease. Martek looks forward to additional research to provide more evidence on this possible risk factor."
DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain. Besides a diet that includes fish, another way to obtain DHA is by supplementation. Martek Biosciences (NASDAQ:MATK) manufactures a DHA supplement under the brand name Neuromins(R) which is free of oceanic contaminants that may be found in some fish and fish oil. For more information on DHA, visit www.DHADepot.com.
Martek Biosciences Corporation develops and sells products from microalgae. The Nutritional Products Group manufactures and sells two nutritional fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA). Martek has patented its DHA (DHASCO(R)) and ARA (ARASCO(R)) oil blend (Formulaid(R)) and sells it to infant formula manufacturers worldwide. Martek also sells its DHA oil, under the Neuromins(R) brand name, to the nutritional supplement industry, either directly or through a number of supplement manufacturers. The Fluorescent Products Group develops and sells a series of proprietary and non-proprietary fluorescent markers. These markers have been designed for use in a wide range of drug discovery and research applications.
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.