It’s now well established that depression is linked to inflammatory conditions and taking high doses (up to 2 500mg daily) of Omega 3 fish oil as a supplement (especially in a EPA: DHA ratio of 6:1 or more – see a previous blog about this) is an excellent way to reduce inflammation and therefore help with symptoms of depression and anxiety.
But did you know your brain is 60% fat and that brain tissue is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly in the membranes of three different types of brain cells? So it’s not surprising that omega-3 is necessary for the proper growth, development and function of brain tissue and for optimal brain health in general.
In fact Omega-3 has a great effect on your overall brain health – EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) keep the dopamine levels in your brain optimised, increase neuronal growth in the frontal cortex of your brain and increase cerebral blood circulation. DHA makes up a large portion of the gray matter of the brain, and our nerve cells – especially the connections that they make (the synapses) – need to be rich in omega-3.
Think of omega-3 as a high quality engine fuel for your brain!
Research also suggests that omega-3, particularly that sourced from fish oil, can help with slowing down age-related brain atrophy. A significant amount of scientific evidence suggests a strong connection between consumption of fish that is rich in omega 3 and healthy, cognitive function.
Low concentrations of EPA and DHA have been shown to accelerate cognitive decline. And a lack of dietary omega-3 affects brain function and is associated with cognitive and emotional disorders.
A Danish research team compared the diets of 5386 healthy older people and found that the more fish an individual consumed, the likely they were able to maintain high-performance memory into old age!
A study by Sarah M. Conklin, PhD, of Pittsburgh showed that in healthy adults of average age 45 years, low levels of either EPA or DHA predicted high degrees of angry feelings and outbursts.
“We were able to show that individuals who consumed more omega-3 fatty acids in their diets had more gray matter volume in areas of the brain important for regulating mood,” Dr. Conklin explains. “These results suggest that these specific fats may confer a protective effect against depression and other mood-related problems.” (http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2007/10/report_depression/Page-01)
There is no doubt that supplementing our diets with omega-3 results in positive outcomes for other mental health disorders, such as impaired cognition and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.
Good quantities of omega-3 can be found in flaxseed, chia and hemp seeds, but the most beneficial form of omega-3 — DHA and EPA, which are essential to fighting and preventing both physical and mental disease — can be found in high quality fish oil from anchovies and sardines which are low in toxins and heavy metals as they are sourced from the deep clean waters of the South Pacific.
OMEGA-UP™ has helped me maintain a balanced life. I use it every day and would recommend it to anyone living a modern, busy life. OMEGA-UP™ increases my vitality and sense of well being. It’s definitely a mood upper of note. M. van Straaten, Cape Town