Fish oil enhances memory and prevents brain shrinkage
Wednesday, 23 March 2016 | Stuart
The amazing benefits of fish oil for brain function have been highlighted once again with new research demonstrating the protective effects of omega-3 oils on memory and brain function.
The study published in the journal Alzheimers & Dementia tracked the effects of fish oil supplementation across 3 groups of participants: those with normal cognitive function, those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and a third group with Alzheimers Disease.
Participants in all groups experienced benefits from using the fish oil supplements - with the exception of Alzheimers sufferers who carried the genetic risk factor for the disease, known as the APoE4 gene allele.
Results of the study showed improvements in memory and reduced brain atrophy, thought to be due to the vascular effects of omega-3 fatty acids and the production of neuroprotectin D1 by docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), one of the long chain omega-3 fats found in fish oil, which has protective anti-inflammatory actions.
The human brain has a particular affinity for the long chain omega-3 fats, utilising them in structural components and the production and function of neurotransmitters.
A typical Western diet is low in omega-3 fats and high in omega-6 oils – a ratio which leads to an increase in pro-inflammatory conditions in the body. Good quality omega-3 supplements are a key part of many naturopathic nutritional programmes which seek to modulate inflammation and promote healthy brain function.
Fish oils and Krill oils are both excellent sources of the omega-3 fats DHA and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) whilst flaxseed oil is the oil of choice for vegetarian and vegan omega-3 supplementation.