You’ve heard of certain ‘fatty acids’ being beneficial to your health. Well, now we have more reasons to take a high quality supplement.
Recently, a team of researchers at Louisiana State University Health have found that a component of fish oil helps damaged brain and retina cells survive. Nicolas Bazan, a Professor and Director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine has shown for the first time that NDP1. a signaling molecule made from DHA, can trigger the production of a protective protein against toxic free radicals and injury in the brain and retina.
The research was conducted in an experimental model of ischemic stroke (the type of stroke where ischemia or lack of blood flow causes tissue to die) and human retinal pigment epithelial cells (those cells which play a major role in supporting the function of the macula, where people get their best quality vision). The study was published in Advance Publication Online in Nature Research’s Cell Death and Differentiation. Neuroprotectin D1 (NPD1) is a lipid messenger made from the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This molecule made on demand when cell survival is compromised. NPD1 was discovered and named in 2004 by Dr. Bazan and colleagues. Oxidative stress, resulting from the constant production of damaging free radicals, lays the groundwork for cell death.
The research team found that when systematically administered one hour after two hours of induced stroke, NPD1 increased the production and availability of a protein that has been named Iduna. Iduna facilitates DNA repair and protects against a form of programmed cell death by suppressing the production of a destructive protein called PARP. DHA, found in fish oil, is an essential omega-3 fatty acid and is vital for proper brain function. It is also necessary for the development and maintenance of the nervous system, including vision!
Buyer beware, however. Not all omega-3 fatty acid sources and supplements are beneficial. Some do very little other than thinning your wallet. Come by Alpine Eyecare Center and I’d be happy to chat with you about how you can keep your brain and eyes healthy!