Consumption of foods that contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the levels of plasma beta-amyloid, while decreasing the risk of Alzheimer’s, according to a new study conducted at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

Published in Neurology, the new research stated that people who consume foods that are rich in omega-3 could have lower blood levels of the protein, which has been associated to onset of Alzheimer’s disease and memory problems.

However, the previous studies, conducted on the fatty acid, proved that the diet can play a key role in preventing or delaying the onset of Alzheimer disease, reported NutraIngredients.

The research team, led by Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas of Columbia University Medical Center, said that the intake of one additional gram of omega-3 every day, above the average amount of the fatty acid consumed by people, can result in 20-30% lower blood beta-amyloid levels.

The study, ‘titled Nutrient intake and plasma β-amyloid’, was conducted on the blood plasma levels of 1,219 people aged more than 65 in a cross-sectional study that examined the relation between dietary intake of nutrients and plasma levels of beta-amyloid.

Scarmeas said that the study looked particularly at ten nutrients – saturated fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, mono-unsaturated fatty acid, vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin B12, folate and vitamin D.

"We found that higher dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake was associated with lower plasma beta-amyloid42 level, suggesting that the potential beneficial effects of omega-3 PUFA intake on Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive function in the literature might be at least partly explained by an amyloid-beta-related mechanism," he added.