Low levels of a substance called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in people's brains have been associated with Alzheimer's disease but new research from the University of California Irvine suggests that the problem might lie in people's livers not their skulls. Previous studies have shown that most DHA in the brain is actually made in the liver and the university's post-mortem research suggests that the Alzheimer's patients' livers were unable to synthesize DHA from shorter molecules found in leafy plants and other foods. DHA occurs naturally in cold-water fatty fish (like salmon) and seaweed and is essential for the proper functioning of adult human brains and the development of the nervous system and vision during the first six months of life. Alzheimer's is a complicated disease with a huge number of risk factors but monitoring DHA levels in people's blood and dietary supplements for those in the early stages of the disease could prove helpful.
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