Fish oil might help fight alcohol-induced brain damage
Omega-3 fish oil could help protect against alcohol-related brain damage, according to a new study by researchers at a Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.
Consuming high levels of alcohol leads to inflammation and death of cells in the brain. Researchers say fish oil can help protect against these symptoms.
Preponderance of evidence shows that moderate drinking—defined as two drinks per day for men and one per day for women—can reduce the risk of dementia. Scientists say that moderate drinking can help brain cells strengthen by essentially helping them learn how to deal with stresses that could cause dementia. Exceeding moderate drinking levels stresses brain cells in a harmful way and can eventually kill brain cells.
The new study, reported as a presentation at the 14th Congress of the European Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism in Warsaw, examined the effects of alcohol on adult rat brain cells. Two groups of rats were used. The first group of rat brain cells was exposed to high levels of alcohol. The second group was exposed to the same high levels of alcohol, in addition to the omega-3 compound found in fish oil.
Findings showed that in the latter group, there was approximately 90 percent less inflammation in the brain cells and fewer brain cell deaths than was found in the group of cells not exposed to fish oil.
These findings suggest that fish oil could help protect against dementia that is caused by alcohol consumption.
Researchers said that taking fish oil will not protect the brains of people continuing to abuse alcohol, and that additional studies are needed to confirm their preliminary finding that fish oil might protect against alcohol-related dementia.