A recent study published in The Journal of Nutrition investigated whether eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an omega-3 fatty acid known for its health benefits, reduces obesity-associated metabolic dysfunction and circulating brain amyloids in amyloidogenic mice. 

Alzheimer’s disease, sometimes exacerbated by systemic inflammation and obesity, is an age-related neurodegenerative condition characterized by impaired cognitive functions and memory loss, which results from amyloid-beta plaque accumulation in the brain. Although FDA-approved medications can help alleviate mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease-related dementia and delay its progression, there is an urgent need to develop safe, easily accessible, and cost-effective approaches aimed at prevention. Among these are dietary interventions such as foods rich in anti-inflammatory long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce adiposity, inflammation, and increase levels of the anti-inflammatory hormone adiponectin in diet-induced obese mice. Studies have also shown that EPA and other omega-3 fatty acids may also play an important role in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by reducing the deposit of amyloid plaque.

 Moustaid-Moussa (Texas Tech University) and colleagues conducted a study to further investigate the potential benefit of EPA supplementation in reducing the metabolic consequence of obesity in an amyloidogenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Amyloidogenic and control mice were randomly assigned to low fat, high fat, or EPA-supplemented high fat diets. Body composition, glucose regulation, and energy expenditure were measured, and serum and brain metabolic markers were tested 38 weeks postintervention.

Study results demonstrate that the high-fat diet increased metabolic risk factors compared with the low-fat diet and showed trends in increasing blood amyloid-beta. Male mice gained more weight and fat compared to females. EPA reduced amyloid-beta and altered levels of fat-regulatory hormones. These findings provide evidence that dietary approaches such as EPA and other omega-3 fatty acids may effectively protect against obesity related Alzheimer’s disease in amyloidogenic mouse models. Scientists hope that their research will encourage future clinical studies to determine the potential benefits of EPA in Alzheimer’s disease.


Yavari M, Ramalingam L, Harris BN, Kahathuduwa CN, Chavira A, Biltz C, Mounce L, Maldonado KA, Scoggin S, Zu Y, Kalupahana NS, Yosofvand M, Moussa H, Moustaid-Moussa N. Eicosapentaenoic Acid protects against Metabolic Impairments in the APPswe/Ps1dE9 Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Model. The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 153, Issue 4, April 2023, Pages 1038-1051, doi.org/10.1016/j.tjnut.2023.01.030.

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