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The life expectancy of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an incurable neurological disease, is very short. A promising new study has found a link between omega 3 intake and slowed disease progression.

Charcot’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is a rare neurodegenerative disease that causes progressive paralysis of the limbs. It affects approximately 7,000 people in France, including 1 in 10 patients for whom the disease is hereditary according to the Institut du Cerveau. Without treatment for the moment, the life expectancy of patients is on average 3 years. But a promising new study has found that omega 3 and in particular thealpha-linolenic acid (ALA) would slow the progression of the disease.

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Omega 3s are fats essential for the functioning of the body which must be provided by food. They have many benefits for our health. Studies have also shown the role of omega 3 in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. However, most people don’t get enough of these fatty acids on a daily basis. THE foods rich in omega 3 are fatty fish (salmon, sardines, etc.), vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil, walnuts, spinach, flax and Chia seeds.

For the purposes of this new study published in the journal Neurology, 449 patients with Charcot’s disease were followed for 18 months. “In this study, we found that in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, higher blood levels of linolenic fatty acid were also associated with increased slower disease progression and to a lower risk of death during the study period“said lead author Kjetil Bjornevik, assistant professor of epidemiology and nutrition. Indeed, the researchers estimated that patients with elevated linolenic acid had a 50% lower risk of death than those with low linolenic acid levels. “These results, along with our previous research, suggest that this fatty acid may have neuroprotective effects that people with Charcot’s disease could benefit from.“, she concludes.

Scientists want to deepen research on the benefits of linolenic acid against Charcot’s disease by carrying out new, more comprehensive studies with randomized trials in particular.


  • Association of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Clinical Progression in Patients With ALS: Post Hoc Analysis of the EMPOWER Trial, Neurology, June 21, 2023
  • brain institute

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