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Dietary fatty acids help reduce Lou Gehrig's disease

Fish-and-green-saladEating foods in ?-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) from vegetable and marine sources may help reduce the risk for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the fatal neurodegenerative disease commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease. Kathryn C. Fitzgerald, M.Sc., of the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, and colleagues said that overall, the results of their large prospective cohort study suggested that individuals with higher dietary intakes of total ?-3 PUFA and ALA had a reduced risk for ALS. (Read: Omega 3 fatty acids why you need them in your diet)

Fitzgerald said that further research, possibly including biomarkers of PUFA intake, should be pursued to confirm these findings and to determine whether high ?-3 PUFA intake could be beneficial in individuals with ALS. Fitzgerald added that the fatty acid composition of cell plasma membranes, which could be measured in red cell membranes, might be important in modulating oxidative stress responses, excitotoxicity and inflammation, all factors that had been implicated in ALS and other neurodegenerative conditions. (Read: You need fats (omega 3 fatty acids) for better memory!)

Other health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids

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  1. Improves blood cholesterol levels: According to studies, fish, fish oil and walnuts can decrease triglyceride levels. People who eat fatty fish tend to have increased HDL cholesterol and decreased triglycerides. Read more about why you need omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.
  2. Prevents heart disease: A diet low in saturated fat and rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (including omega-3 fatty acids) helps prevent heart disease. Fish oil has been shown to reduce arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat), risk of stroke and helps prevent and treat atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of artery). Fish oil supplements taken after a heart attack cuts the risk of having another heart attack.
  3. Regulates important physiological functions - Some studies suggest that Omega-3 fats play an important role in the production of prostaglandinswhich are known toregulate important physiological functions like blood pressure, blood clotting, nerve transmission, allergic responses, etc. (Read more: 10 health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids)

With inputs from ANI

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