November 4, 2010 by staff 

Dementia, Memory improvement with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) Study (MIDAS) has published online in March 2010 and in the print edition in November of Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association has shown that function algal DHA improved memory in healthy older adults, providing a benefit roughly equivalent to having learning ability and memory of someone three years younger.

MIDAS is the first large randomized placebo controlled cons demonstrating the benefits of algae DHA in maintaining and improving brain health in older people. The aim of MIDAS was to evaluate the effects of algal DHA on cognitive outcomes of healthy elderly with mild memory complaints. Martek Biosciences funded the study.

MIDAS found that healthy people over age 55 with memory impairment who took 900 mg of DHA algae capsules for six months had nearly twice the reduction of errors on a test that measures learning and memory compared to those who took placebo, an advantage to be roughly equivalent to learning ability and memory of someone three years younger. DHA has been well tolerated and subjects taking DHA also decreased heart rate, providing further important cardiovascular benefit.

Another study, published in the latest issue of the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), conducted by the study of Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative (ADCS) group, found that treatment with DHA did not show of statistically significant benefit in cognitive function compared to placebo in a population that was already diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and has also received a concurrent prescription medication. However, the author’s study noted that the involvement of DHA could be effective if initiated earlier in the disease among patients without dementia demonstrated. An editorial in JAMA accompanying the study noted the same, indicating that effective treatment strategies to prevent progression of Alzheimer’s disease will probably need to be initiated earlier and the treatment of mild AD to moderate may be “too late”.

Of great interest, the ADCS study demonstrated a significantly slower rate of cognitive decline in a subset of subjects who were not apoE4, a gene associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. About 50 percent of the population of Alzheimer’s disease and about 70 percent of the general population is APOE4 negative. The possible interaction between some treatments, such as DHA, and the genetic status is an interesting finding that may be clinically significant results should be replicated in future research.

These two studies raise the possibility that early nutritional interventions before the onset of any disease-related memory may be necessary for an effect. Early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is key to test therapies in earlier stages.

The source of DHA used in MIDAS and the ADCS study has vegetarian DHA and sustainable algae produced by Martek Biosciences, which is marketed to consumers under the brand life’sDHA (TM). Algal DHA, which allow consumers to easily increase daily intake of DHA algae, can be found in pharmacies and retailers in the algae-900 product name (TM) and bearing the logo life’sDHA.

About DHA

DHA is omega-3 long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that serve as base material of the brain and eyes and the brain takes over, eyes and cardiovascular health throughout life. There is a large and growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating that people of all ages to enjoy an adequate supply of DHA omega-3 in their diet. Scientific studies have highlighted the importance of DHA omega-3 in proper brain and eye development and function, and its importance in cardiovascular health. Leading experts from around the world have noted that DHA is an important nutrient for health throughout the life cycle. Yet despite its importance, Americans have among the lowest dietary intakes of DHA omega-3 in the world.

Fish are often mistakenly considered the only source of DHA omega-3. However, life’sDHA offers a trusted, vegetarian form of DHA algae that contains no oceanic pollutants and toxins. Fish are sources of DHA because of the DHA-rich microalgae in their food chain; life’sDHA is derived directly from microalgae, a renewable, sustainable source of DHA that deplete ocean resources, and is produced entirely on the U.S. FDA-inspected. Today life’sDHA is found in many foods, beverages and supplements for people of all ages. It is also the only source of DHA used in infant formulas and the United States is included in more than 99 percent of all the formulas on the U.S. market, as well as over 350 brands of infant formula, nutritional supplements and functional foods sold in over 75 countries worldwide.

About Martek

Martek Biosciences Corporation / quotes/comstock/15 *! MATK / quotes / nls / MATK (MATK 22.64, -0.02, -0.07%) is a leader in innovation, development, production and sale of high value products from microbial sources that promote health and wellness through nutrition. The company is the leading supplier of algae DHA omega-3 with its flagship product, life’sDHA, a sustainable and vegetarian source of DHA omega-3 algae important for the brain, heart and eye health throughout life for use in foods, beverages, infant formula, and supplements. The company also produces life’sARA (TM) (arachidonic acid), an omega-6 fatty acid, for use in infant formula milks and growing up. In addition, the subsidiary of Martek, Amerifit Brands, develops, markets and distributes health and consumer branded products of well-being in great mass, club, drug, grocery and specialty stores and holds leading positions brand in all key product categories. For more information on Martek Biosciences, visit For more information on life’sDHA (TM) or life’sARA (TM), or visit For more information on brands Amerifit, visit.

Sections of this release contain forward-looking statements. These statements are based on numerous assumptions, which Martek cannot control and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ. These statements should be understood in light of the risk factors described in documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, the form of the company 10-K for the year ended on October 31, 2009 and other reports filed on Form 10-K, Form 10-K / A, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K.

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