Newly minted research studies continue to extol the critical nature of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA in preserving and maintaining optimal metabolic and brain health. In the past, researchers have identified and clearly demonstrated that eating fish or supplementing with a high-quality fish oil capsule can help lower the risk of sudden death from a heart attack by one-third, as it lowers levels of systemic inflammation, the catalyst for many types of cancer and a primary cause of advanced mortality. Many people have a virtually nonexistent intake of omega-3 fats that leads to a dangerous imbalance with omega-6 fats and a cascade of potentially lethal chronic diseases.
The brain is protected by an essential defence network known as the blood-brain barrier that helps filter out potentially harmful substances and chemicals that may disturb the delicate balance of chemical neurotransmitters and electrical impulses necessary to promote learning and memory retention and coordinate movement throughout the body. Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have published the result of their work in the Journal of Internal Medicine that shows how critical omega-3 fats cross the blood-brain barrier, where they are used to build neural cell membranes that facilitate proper oxygen flow and nutrient saturation to support optimal brain health that many believe help thwart dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Omega-3 fats cross the blood-brain barrier and lower levels of systemic inflammation to fight chronic disease
cientists know that those individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease have extremely low concentrations of the long-chain omega-3 fat DHA. In a cohort of 33 volunteers, the team demonstrated that supplementation with an omega-3 supplement for six months yielded a significant improvement in DHA levels in a double-blind, comparative study. Medical News Today reported, “By the end of the study, the omega-3 group had higher levels of DHA and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid, which is another omega-3) in their cerebrospinal fluid and blood, whereas the placebo group did not show any change.” Most importantly, the researchers found that supplemented members of the group had much lower levels of an inflammatory marker in their cerebrospinal fluid.
An independent study published in the journal Neurology has found that supplementation with fish oil preserves and can even increase brain volume during aging. Decreasing brain mass is a hallmark sign of pending forms of dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease. Any strategy that helps preserve brain volume is critical to maintain optimal brain health, and scientists in this study determined that supplementing with fish oil was equivalent to preserving up to two years of brain health. Supporting research has also shown that supplementing with the full spectrum of B vitamins can help preserve critical brain volume.
The authors for this work concluded that the result of the study “adds to the growing literature suggesting that higher omega-3 FA tissue levels, which can be achieved by dietary changes, may hold promise for delaying cognitive aging and/or dementia.” Research scientists have now produced volumes of solid evidence to show the importance of omega-3 fats in supporting human health. Health-minded individuals will eat fatty fish several times per week or supplement daily (1,200 to 2,400 mg combined EPA/DHA) with a purified fish oil capsule to support the heart, brain and metabolic processes.
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