There’s A Crucial Relationship Between Omega 3 And Brain Function, Memory And Learning
Omega 3 fats affect your brain function, your memory and learning ability in children
There is an ever increasing body of evidence linking the Omega 3 essential fatty acids DHA and EPA with improvements in human brain function, improvements in memory, learning abilities and disabilities as well as a range of psychiatric and other mental conditions.
What you eat, it seems from the research, affects not just your general health but your brain and mental health and learning ability as well.
Not only that but there is a growing body of evidence that one of the most important things that young children can do to improve their ability to learn, to concentrate and to remember is to increase their intake of the Omega 3 fatty acids.
And today we bring you two fascinating videos from the BBC in the UK about Omega 3 and brain function, and improving the learning abilities of children. Here’s the 2 videos, though make sure you keep reading below for a more thorough explanation.
(Find out more about Omega 3 supplements)
Your brain performs a massive range of functions. It runs your body, it thinks, it learns, it remembers, and it performs a massive range of other functions. However some people think, learn and remember better than others. Some people are smarter than others.
Some people have problems with memory loss, ADHD, have Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Some people suffer from depression, some suffer from bipolar disorder, and much much more.
There really is “Brain Food”.
As science delves into the workings of the human brain there is a gradual realisation that what you eat has a very significant impact on most if not all of these brain functions, and much more. The old adage about “brain foods” is spot on.
The research is showing that some specific nutrients, or the lack thereof, may well have a huge impact on how well your brain works. Those nutrients are the Omega 3 essential fatty acids.
The human brain works differently to the brain of all other animals. Our brains have developed over thousands of years to the point where our mental abilities have enabled human beings to rule the planet. And science is now suspecting that the Omega 3 essential fatty acids, and DHA in particular, has had a large role to play in that.
DHA, (docosahexaenoic acid) is found primarily in seafood and particularly in oily fish. Research on the bones of Neanderthals has found that, because their diet consisted primarily of red meat, that they had very little DHA intake. However research on the bones of early humans has shown that they had a significant intake of seafood in their diet, thereby getting an increased supply of DHA, and scientists hypothesise that this was the point where the brain power of human beings began to develop.
DHA helps your brain to communicate
Roughly 60 percent of your brain is made up of fat. The largest percentage of that fat is DHA. And in particular there is a layer of DHA in and between the cells which allow the brain’s communication.
Signals in the brain must pass from cell to cell. DHA is found between the membranes of the cells and is extremely important to the transmission of signals in the brain. Too little DHA can inhibit the transmission of brain signals.
Once science realized the importance of DHA in brain function the obvious conclusion was that people deficient in their intake of DHA may well have some signs of decreased brain function, and research is gradually demonstrating that.
And enough DHA in the diet is essential to optimum mental development in children
It is now becoming clearer that an adequate supply of DHA in the diet is essential to proper brain development in children, and that an inadequate supply may well contribute to learning difficulties in children such as ADD and ADHD. If you’ve not watched our videos (above) then we urge you to do so, as they very effectively demonstrate this very point.
There is now compelling evidence that an inadequate supply of DHA in the diet may contribute to a whole range of mental conditions including memory loss or generally poor memory, declining mental function and cognitive ability as well as a range of mental conditions, particularly with ageing, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in general.
And there is also compelling evidence that increasing the intake of DHA may well also help improve symptoms of depression in general as well as postpartum depression in particular.
Pregnant women need plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids
For these reasons it is becoming clearer that one of the most important aspects of the diet of pregnant women should be an adequate supply of the Omega 3 fats. The Omega 3 fats pass from the mother to the baby in the breastmilk, and therefore help maintain levels of Omega 3 in the mother as well as the baby.
(And research is showing that as well as improving the mental development of the baby and infant, this will also help improve the visual development of children as DHA is an essential component of the retina in the eye.)
Does fish oil help memory and function?
There is a strong link between adequate supplies of Omega 3 and memory, Omega 3 and emotional disorders and Omega 3 and brain function.
And as the principal source of the Omega 3 fatty acids is fish, particularly oily fish, it would seem there is much truth in the old adage about fish being the best brain food. Science now understands a specific reason for this, namely that fish is the best source of DHA, and also EPA, (eicosapentaenoic acid), the secind most important of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids. Fish oil supplements, at least the good ones, provide an adequate supply of these essential brain nutrients.
Whilst eating seafood, according to current scientific thinking, may well have provided the link between the Neanderthals and the development of human beings, lack of seafood in the diet is now being attributed to a range of lifestyle diseases as well as mental conditions.
Eating fish made our brains work better, a lack of fish in our diet is now contributing to various forms of mental decline as well as other health problems.
The growth in sales of Omega 3 supplements has been nothing short of phenomenal, they are the fastest growing nutritional supplement in history. And it would seem that there are powerful reasons for this. Not only are there powerful health reasons generally, but it would seem that the most important organ that you have, namely your brain, feeds on Omega 3, and without enough won’t work so well.
The authors take Omega 3 supplements every day without fail. We consider them an essential component, if not the most important component, of good health. We suggest you consider doing the same.
And to read more about the study which inspired the 2 videos above, click here.To find out more about Peter Click Here
Filed under: Omega 3 Studies