Intimate association of Ghrita with Indian culture is well marked with its uses in recipes, medicines and all religious functions for hawan by offering ghrita to fire. Ghrita prepared from cow milk is preferred in medicine and religious functions. Chemically, it contains mixture of glycerides, free fatty acids, fat soluble vitamins, calcium, iron, phosphorus etc. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids specifically docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Researches have revealed the importance of omega-3 fatty acids on brain structure and function. It is effectively used in various neuronal disorders related to depression, dementia etc.
Kulzow et al. (2016) have shown the beneficial effects nutritional supplementation with of omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 FAs) in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Recently an article published (20th August 2021) in Journal of Alzheimer’s Diseases discloses the effects of omega-3 fatty acids supplementation on cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers in patients with AD. Researchers have observed increased YKL-40 (chitinase-3-like protein) and Nfl (neurofilament light) in patients with omega-3 fatty acid supplementation. Increase in both biomarkers are observed in neurodegenerative diseases. Then, what is the mode of action of n-3 FAs to improve the condition in AD. Grimm and others (2011) have expressed in their research the supplementation of n-3 FAs with decreased amyloid deposition. They have also highlighted the association of vitamin D3 in prevention of AD. It is further noted that oxidation in DHA may revert the protective action of DHA.
In another research based on fluorescence correlation study, Miwa et al. (2013) have presented the inhibitory effect of DHA on the initial stage of amyloid ß1-42 polymerization. In Ayurveda, many of formulation, given for smritibhransh (dementia) contains ghrita as vehicle with other Medhya herbs. Curcumin is proven for its high binding affinity to amyloid ß. Withanolides, bacopasides, crocin etc. are other compounds from different plants investigated for neurodegenerative disorders have potentials for AD. A detailed study is required based on mechanism of action and interactions of compounds with fatty acids present in ghrita.