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Omega 3’s and the Brain

I came across a very interesting article today about the benefits of Omega 3 and more importantly the research that has been done. The science continues to point at a positive link between Omega 3 and brain health

The Sciencey Bit

I am neither a scientist nor a medical person, but I have attempted to explain this below and keep things simple. If you’re not sure what Omega 3 is, it is the fatty acid found in oily fish. The two most important of these acids are EPA (Eicosahaxaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid). We cannot create these acids within our own bodies and so these important nutrients have to be obtained from diet or supplementation.

These acids are important for the proper functioning of many different part of the body including cardiovascular but for this blog I will attempt to explain how it affects the brain.

It really helps with brain development and some say even affects development in the uterus, some baby formulas even contain DHA.

It is also very necessary for brain maintenance and brain health.

About 60% of a healthy brain is comprised of fat and Omega 3 fatty acids, especially DHA. As human diet started to include seafood, which is rich in DHA scientists have noticed that gray matter in the cerebral cortex began to expand, as did general brain size. This increase coincides with enhanced human intelligence.

Altzheimer’s and Dementias

In adults research has shown a positive association with DHA & cognitive function and conversely lower levels Of DHA with psychological conditions associated with mood and behavior.

Some research has even pointed to DHA being able to play a role in brain healing caused by injury or oxidative stress.

To sum it up DHA & EPA help to build your brains structure and control how it performs. Some in depth studies are described in this article and it has some very interesting studies looking at Alzheimer’s and dementias.

Autism and ADHD

According to Reuters Health “Children with autism who take supplements of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids may have fewer symptoms than kids who don’t.”

Researchers examined data from 27 trials involving a total of 1,028 children with autism spectrum disorder. Kids were randomly selected to take various dietary supplements, including vitamins or omega-3s, or to take placebo instead.

Omega-3s and vitamin supplements were more effective than the placebo pill at improving several symptoms, functions, and clinical domains, researchers report in Pediatrics. Gains varied in the trials but included improved language and social skills, reduced repetitive behaviors, improved attention, less irritability and behavior difficulties, better sleep and communication.

“These results suggest that some dietary interventions could play a role in the clinical management of some areas of dysfunction specific to ASD,” said Dr. David Fraguas, lead author of the study and a researcher at Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Maranon and Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain.”

Similarly according to magazine “Solid scientific research suggests that taking a daily fish oil capsule can help curb symptoms of ADHD like distractibility and impulsivity.”

So why is this? So Omega 3 boosts our internal synthesis of Dopamine, which is the neurotransmitter that ADHD medication improves. Research by Paul Montgomery states “I think supplementation with omega 3s is the only sensible way forward”


The health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are widely known, as is most people’s deficiency in these critical essential fats.

What you might not appreciate is the importance of optimizing the EPA:DHA ratio for the best results. Getting the right balance is essential. DHA is preferred for cognition, brain development and the potential protection from ageing. Along with the benefits described earlier in this blog regarding the possible gains for Alzheimer’s, Dementias, Autism Syndrome and ADHD.

Taking Omega 3

We need high levels of both EPA and in particular DHA to really help our brains and so many people turn to a simple supplement to take care of it. Not all supplements are equal. Many have high EPA but low DHA which makes them less effective on the brain. There has also historically been a problem with a remaining fishy aftertaste after capsules or liquid and a very oily consistency if its in liquid form. As I have said in previous blogs this constitutes a significant problem for parents with children, like my daughter, who has sensory issues.

We have looked far and wide to bring the most pleasant supplement to the market. They are little pods that can be easily swallowed or chewed if preferred. When chewed a liquid emerges with a pleasant citrus flavor and has no fishy aftertaste. Depending on your requirements (and Dr’s advise) you can take more or less pods.

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