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Multiple Sclerosis

MS DHA/EPA low: Compared to 30 healthy controls, both RBC EPA and DHA were low. Both groups incorporated just as easily during supplementation. RBC levels continued to increase during the two years of supplementation. Nightingale, Act Neurol Scand 7/90;82:43

MS Helped by fish oil and Low Sat Fats: 150 patients 243 followed for 34 years and treated with a diet of less than 20 g of saturated fat/d with an added 5 g (1 teaspoon) of cod liver oil. Those sticking to diet had minimal deterioration and 5% mortality. Those failing to stick to diet had 80% mortality. Helped moderate and severely affected. Women tended to do better than men. Those starting early did better than those starting later in disease process. Roy Swank, Oregon Health Sci Univ, Nutr 9/91;7:368-376. Diet with no butter fats or hydrogenated oils and animal fats max 15g/d. Veg oil that liquid at room temp were allowed from 10-40 g/d. No margarines, hydrogenated peanut butter or any shortenings. Diet had 60-90 g/d of protein from vegetables, cereals, nuts, fish, seafood, white meat of chicken, turkey cooked without skin, lean meats, occasional egg. Monitor commercially process foods. Relapse rate fell dramatically and quickly on diet, especially the 1st year but continued falling for five years.

Trend Toward Benefit fr Fish Oil: DB of 312 with fish oil two years found a trend toward benefit. Previous DB study found n-6 supplementation also somewhat helpful. Bates, UK, Ups J Med Sci Suppl ’90;48:173

No Connection fat type or fish intake in Nurses Study: Two Harvard nurses studies of 92,000 nurses followed for 14 and 4 years found no significant impact of fish or fat types on MS. Am J Epidemiol 2000 Dec 1;152(11):1056-64

Incr Omega 3, Decr exacerbations: and Improvement neurological status. Hum Nutr Appl Nutr 41(5):297-310 ’87

20 Countries, Incr fat, Incr MS: EG Knox, Br J Prev Soc Med 31(2):71-80, ’77

Breast Fed Less MS: Cow’s milk 1/5 linoleic (Ed: and much less omega 3) than breast. Agranoff, Lancet ’74;2:1061-6

High fish, Low MS: e.g. Faroe Islands. Nature ’67;215:821-3

Fish Oil Helps Some: Some improvement in 5 of 12 patients on 4.2 g EPA, and 2.8 g DHA/d for 1-4 months (equivalent of 23 fish oil capsules per day). Author says may need more time. Br J Clin Prac ’87;40:365-7

Alzheimer's Disease (See Alzheimer's Disease and Diet for more studies)

Fish Linked to Decreased Dementia: 5386 Rotterdam subjects. High fat, high sat fat, and high cholesterol were associated with increased risk dementia. Increased fish linked with decreased Alzheimer's with RR 0.3 and decreased incident dementia RR 0.4. Kalmijn, Erasmus U, Netherlands, Ann Neurol ’97, 4:776-82

Omega-3 Helps Improve Alzheimers: Supplement to a 4:1 balance omega-6:omega-3 in DB PC study of 100 AD patients with 60 on fatty acid supplement found incr qual life, mood, coop, appetite, sleep, short memory after 28 days. 49 of 60 showed some overall improvement. Previous rat studies by same researches with same supplement found incr in learning, thermoregulation, neurotoxin recovery, and seizure protection. Yehuda, Bar-Ilan Univ, Israel, Int J Neurosci 11/96 87:141-9

Animal Fat, Cholesterol Bad, Fish Good: Prospective Zutphen Elderly Study (n=476) and the Rotterdam Study (n=5,386). Rotterdam Study showed that high intakes associated with an increased risk of dementia after adjustments: total fat (RR=2.4 (95%CI: 1.1-5.2)), saturated fat (RR=1.9 (95%CI: 0.9-4.0)), and cholesterol (RR=1.7 (95%CI: 0.9-3.2)). A high fish consumption, an important source of n-3 PUFAs, reduced the risk of dementia (RR=0.4 (95%CI: 0.2-0.9)). In the Zutphen Elderly Study a high linoleic acid intake was associated with cognitive impairment (OR=1.8 (95%CI: 1.0-3.0)). A high fish consumption tended to be inversely associated with cognitive impairment and decline (RR=0.5, 95%CI: 0.2-1.2). J Nutr Health Aging 2000;4(4):202-207

EFA & Anti-ox Help Alzheimer’s: 36 pt DB PC Rx with EFAs and Anti-oxidants showed greater improvement vs. placebo in 20 wk study. Corrigan, Scotland, Ann NY Acad Sci ’91;640:250

Low DHA Risk factor Alzheimer’s: Ernst Schaefer, Tufts Univ


Fish Decreases CVAs: Compuserve reports study of 80,000 finding 48% fewers ischemic strokes, which comprise 83% of all strokes, in women eating 4 oz fish 2-4 times per week in 14 year study, probably the nurses study. Shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish said high in Mercury and to be avoided in pregnancy. 1/17/01.

Mono-sat fats Decr CVA: Jama ’97 278:2145-50.

Fewer Strokes: ’95 UCSF study in Stroke compared serum fatty acids in 96 men with CVA and 96 without. For each 0.13% incr alpha-linolenic, stroke risk dropped 37%. Higher phospholipid stearic ace (18:0) assoc with 37% in for one standard deviation. Cigarettes and BP other risk factors detected in study. Joel A. Simon. Stroke ’95;26:778-82

Fewer Strokes with Fish: 12 yr f/u in the NHANES I epidemiol study found the RR for white women eating fish more than once a week was .55, for white men .85, and for blacks .51. Gillem, CDC, Arch Intern Med 3/96;11:156

Slightly more Strokes: The Chicago Western Electric Study found that men with the highest fish intake (>35g/d) had a risk factor of RR=1.34, (<35 but >18) RR=.96, (<18 but >0)=RR 1.00 Stroke 2/96;27:204

Fish Increase Stroke: risk of stroke increased with the consumption of fish, p = 0.04. Those in the highest quintile of consumption (46 g of fish/day) had a multivariate adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 1.95 as compared to those in the lowest quintile (11 g/ day). The risk of cerebral infarction also increased with the consumption of fish, showing an OR of 1.98. Those in the highest quintile of n-3 fatty acid consumption (660 mg/day) were at borderline higher risk of stroke, with an OR of 1.76, and also of cerebral infarction (OR: 1.89), as compared to those in the lower quintile of n-3 fatty acids consumption (115 mg/day). Neuroepidemiology 2002 May-Jun;21(3):107-14

Fewer Strokes with Fish in Zutphen Study: Dutch men consuming over 20g/wk of fish had RR 0.49 in long f/u study of 556 men. Keli, Stroke 2/94;25:328; Same in Perth case control study of 536 stroke victims vs controls showing fish over twice/month protective. Stroke 1/94.

Fewer Strokes in Spain Linked to Fish, Fruit, and Less Wine: 55% decrease in recent years. Analysis by province. Fruit incr and wine decr were significant.Rodriguez, Stroke, 8/98;29:1556

More Strokes in Greenland: When compared to Denmark, where fish consumption is not as high, Greenlanders do have more strokes. An autopsy study in Greenland has also found higher levels of n-3 PUFAs in adipose tissue of those dying of stroke. The rate of stroke also decreased in Japan from 1950-80 with decreases in fish consumption, although other factors may well have also occurred. Thus, very high levels of sea food consumption may be a risk factor for stroke. Pedersen, Lancet 353:812-3 3/6/99. Ed: However, no study has looked at the amount of salt consumption, which may vary in parallel with fish if salted fish consumption is high.

Ethyl-EPA Helps Huntington’s: Neuroreport 2002 Jan 21;13(1):123-6. DB PC. 7 patients 6 months on EPA all improved and all on placebo got worse.