In yesterday’s Nutrition & Metabolism class, our guest speaker was Laurie Mischley, ND, who received her Doctor of Naturopathy locally from Bastyr University and took this very class a few years back as she was working on her MPH in Epidemiology. She also majored in nutrition as an undergraduate at Penn State. In her clinical practice and research, she specializes in nutritional and environmental medicine as it relates to neurology.
So when she took this class, which focuses on lipid during Winter term, she questioned why there wasn’t a lecture on lipids and the brain, since our brains are mostly lipids. The answer: Because that’s not an area our professor is especially knowledgeable in (his main area is atherosclerosis) Well the class does cover lipid and the brain now…and Dr. Mischley gives the lecture!
And a fascinating and enlightening lecture it was. Part of the focus was on potential roles for DHA, EPA, omega-3 fatty acids and other fats in neurological diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis, as well as in mental illness. In talking about some of the research that has been done in these areas, she mentioned a recent study at Oregon Health Sciences University that found that people with Alzheimer’s disease who were given fish oil supplements for 18 months did not experience any slowing in the rate of disease progression, compared with Alzheimer’s patients who received a placebo.
The study results were published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, and Dr. Mischley said the letters to the editor were a surprising testament that at least some progress has been made in understanding by the medical community of the role of nutrition and disease. They were along the line of “How do you expect 18 months of fish oil to reverse a disease that was decades in the making.” And then…wait for it…
“The ingredients you put into yourself meal after meal after meal are the ingredients that will shape your body.”
Ahhhhh…I need to put this on a T-shirt!