Omega-3s May Protect Brain From Air Pollution
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Omega-3 fatty acid levels appeared to weaken the inverse relationship between ambient fine particle exposure and brain aging, a prospective cohort study showed.

This study aimed to examine whether LCn3PUFA levels modify the potential neurotoxic effects of PM2.5 exposure on normal-appearing brain volumes among dementia-free elderly women.

A total of 1,315 women (aged 65 to 80 years) free of dementia were enrolled in an observational study and underwent structural brain MRI. Based on prospectively collected and geocoded participant addresses, researchers used a spatiotemporal model to estimate the 3-year average PM2.5 exposure before the MRI. They examined the joint associations of baseline LCn3PUFAs in red blood cells (RBCs) and PM2.5 exposure with brain volumes in generalized linear models.

-- After adjustment for potential confounders, participants with higher levels of RBC LCn3PUFA had significantly greater volumes of white matter and hippocampus.
-- For each inter-quartile increment in omega-3 index, the average volume was 5.03 cm cube greater in the white matter, and 0.08 cm cube greater in the hippocampus.
-- The associations with RBC DHA and EPA levels were similar.
-- Higher LCn3PUFA attenuated the inverse associations between PM2.5 exposure and white matter volumes in the total brain and multi-modal association areas (frontal, parietal, and temporal), while the associations with other brain regions were not modified.
-- Consistent results were found for dietary intakes LCn3PUFAs and non-fried fish.

Conclusively, Findings from this prospective cohort study among elderly women suggest that the benefits of LCn3PUFAs on brain aging may include the protection against potential adverse effects of air pollution on white matter volumes.

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