Fish oil, when combined with epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)—a polyphenol and antioxidant found in green tea, may affect chemical processes in the brain associated with Alzheimers disease, according to a study published in Neuroscience Letters. This study, which used an animal (mouse) model of Alzheimers disease, builds on previous research linking the disease to peptides (amino acid chains) called beta-amyloids and laboratory studies suggesting that EGCG decreases memory problems and beta-amyloid deposits in mice.
Researchers from the University of South Florida divided Alzheimer’s disease-model mice into five feeding groups. During a period of 6 months, each group was fed one of five diets: fish oil only; high dose EGCG; low dose EGCG; low?dose EGCG and fish oil; or a regular diet (control). The researchers observed that low dose EGCG alone did not reduce the Alzheimer’s disease-related chemical processes in the brain. However, the mice fed the combination of fish oil and EGCG had a significant reduction in amyloid deposits that have been linked with Alzheimer’s disease.
Further research is necessary, however, to determine if the combination of fish oil and EGCG affects memory or cognition, and whether it might have potential as an option for people at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Source: Giunta B, Hou H, Zhu Y, et al. Fish oil enhances anti-amyloidogenic properties of green tea EGCG in Tg2576 mice. Neuroscience Letters. 2010;471(3):134–138.