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Categories: Nerve Injury Neuropathy

Functional Neurology: Fish Oil Omega-3s and Brain Health

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Do you often feel that your energy levels drop in the afternoons? Do you often feel brain fog or have unclear thoughts and poor concentration? Do you often experience brain fatigue with chronic pain and inflammation? Diet and supplements are essential for overall well-being. However, fish oil omega-3s are a common supplement with a variety of health benefits.

Fish oil is a well-known supplement that comes from fatty fish, such as sardines, anchovies, mackerel, and salmon. Fish oil has two types of omega-3 fatty acids, known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both of which are commonly used to support skin and heart health. Fish oil supplements can also promote brain health, especially when it comes to improving memory and mood problems like depression, as well as a variety of other health issues. The purpose of the following article is to discuss how the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil may support and promote brain health.

What Are Fish Oil Omega-3s?

Omega-3 fatty acids, best known as omega-3s, are polyunsaturated fats that offer most of the brain health benefits of fish oil. Fish oil has two main types of omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. These two omega-3s are found in cell membranes and these also have anti-inflammatory effects in the human body. They are also well-known for their fundamental roles in human development and heart health. EPA and DHA are found in fatty fish and fish oil. Because the majority of people do not eat the recommended amounts of fish, many people probably aren’t getting enough EPA and DHA in their regular diets.

The human body can make EPA and DHA from another type of omega-3 fatty acid, known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is commonly found in a variety of foods, including walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, canola oil, soybeans, and soybean oil. However, the human body can’t properly turn ALA into EPA and DHA, where healthcare professionals and researchers estimate that approximately less than 10 percent of the amount of ALA you eat is properly turned into EPA or DHA. Fish oil is a good option for people who don’t eat a lot of fish but are still looking to gain the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.

How Do Omega-3s Improve Brain Health?

The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are essential for normal brain function during all stages of life. EPA and DHA play a fundamental role in the development of a baby’s brain. Several research studies have associated pregnant women’s fish intake or fish oil use with higher scores for their children on brain function and intelligence tests in early childhood.

These omega-3s are also essential for the regulation of normal brain function throughout life. They are commonly found in the cell membranes of brain cells, preserving cell membrane health and facilitating communication between brain cells.

When animals are fed diets without omega-3 fatty acids, the amount of DHA in their brains decreases, and they often demonstrate deficits in learning and memory. In older adults, decreased levels of DHA in the blood have ultimately been associated with smaller brain size, a prevalent symptom of accelerated brain aging. Clearly, it is essential to make sure that you get enough omega-3 fatty acids in order to avoid these detrimental effects on brain function and development.

Fish Oil for Memory

The omega-3s found in fish oil play important roles in brain function and development. There are also claims that fish oil can improve brain function in people with memory problems, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease affects brain function and quality of life in millions of elderly adults. That’s why finding a supplement or natural remedy that can help improve brain function in this population of individuals would be a major, if not a life-changing discovery.

Unfortunately, a review of the research study found no compelling evidence that omega-3 supplements like fish oil can improve brain function in people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. However, several research studies suggest that fish oil supplements may improve brain function in people with more mild types of brain health issues, including mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or age-related cognitive decline. Although these types of brain conditions aren’t as severe as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, they can still result in memory loss and sometimes other types of impaired brain function.

One research study gave 485 older adults with age-related cognitive decline either 900 mg of DHA or a placebo every day. After 24 weeks, those taking DHA performed better on memory and learning tests. Similarly, another research study investigated the effects of taking 1.8 grams of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil supplements daily for 24 weeks. The researchers found improvements in brain function in people with MCI but there were no benefits for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. According to the research study, fish oil supplements may be most beneficial when people start taking them in the early stages of brain function decline. If you wait too long, fish oil may be of little benefit to brain health.

Fish Oil for Depression

Finding treatments for depression and other mental health issues is still a public health priority. A recent review of several research studies concluded that taking fish oil supplements improved symptoms in people with depression. However, the greatest improvements in depressive symptoms seemed to occur in people who were also taking antidepressants. In addition, people seemed to experience greater effects when the fish oil supplement also had higher doses of EPA.

It is still unclear how EPA and omega-3s help improve depressive symptoms. Researchers suggest that it may be associated with their effects on serotonin and serotonin receptors in the brain. Others have proposed that omega-3s from fish oil can improve depressive symptoms through their anti-inflammatory effects. Additional evidence suggests that fish oil may also help improve other mental health issues like borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder. However, more high-quality research studies are required before the medical community can make definitive recommendations.

Should You Take Fish Oil for Your Brain Health?

According to the evidence gathered from a variety of research studies, you may want to consider taking fish oil omega-3 fatty acids if you are experiencing mild memory loss, depression, or if you want to improve your overall brain health. There are no official recommendations regarding how much omega-3s from fish oil you need to take to see benefits in brain function and mental health. The amounts of fish oil omega-3 fatty acids used in the research studies varied from each clinical trial.

The US Food and Drug Administration has set a safe and effective limit for the intake of omega-3 fatty acid supplements to be at 3,000 mg per day. The European Food Safety Authority has set their recommendation a little higher, at no more than 5,000 mg per day. Taking 1,000 to 2,000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil daily is likely a good starting point, which is under the recommended limit. People with depression should choose fish oil supplements with higher amounts of EPA.

It is essential to read labels carefully when evaluating fish oil supplements. A 1,000-mg capsule of fish oil may have less than 500 mg of actual omega-3 fatty acids but this can vary for each brand. In general, fish oil supplements are considered to be safe and effective at dosages under those that were previously mentioned. Make sure you talk with a healthcare professional before taking fish oil omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Because research studies have reviewed their potential effects on blood clotting, this is especially important if you are taking blood-thinning medications or have an upcoming surgery.

EPA and DHA are omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil that are fundamental for normal brain function and development. People with mild decline in memory or brain function and mood changes like depression may consider taking omega-3s from fish oil because these can improve symptoms and overall brain health. Although fish oil is typically praised for its benefits for heart health, it also has incredible effects on brain and mental health that are worth mentioning. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight


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Do you often feel that your energy levels drop in the afternoons? Do you often feel brain fog or have unclear thoughts and poor concentration? Do you often experience brain fatigue with chronic pain and inflammation? Diet and supplements are essential for overall well-being. However, fish oil omega-3s are a common supplement with a variety of health benefits.

Fish oil is a well-known supplement that comes from fatty fish, such as sardines, anchovies, mackerel, and salmon. Fish oil has two types of omega-3 fatty acids, known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both of which are commonly used to support skin and heart health. Fish oil supplements can also promote brain health, especially when it comes to improving memory, mood problems like depression, as well as neurological diseases and other health issues. The purpose of the article above was to discuss how the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil support and promote brain health.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez

Referenced from: Healthline.com


Additional Topic Discussion: Chronic Pain

Sudden pain is a natural response of the nervous system which helps to demonstrate possible injury. By way of instance, pain signals travel from an injured region through the nerves and spinal cord to the brain. Pain is generally less severe as the injury heals, however, chronic pain is different than the average type of pain. With chronic pain, the human body will continue sending pain signals to the brain, regardless if the injury has healed. Chronic pain can last for several weeks to even several years. Chronic pain can tremendously affect a patient’s mobility and it can reduce flexibility, strength, and endurance.


Neural Zoomer Plus for Neurological Disease

Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate neurological diseases. The Neural ZoomerTM Plus is an array of neurological autoantibodies which offers specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. The Vibrant Neural ZoomerTM Plus is designed to assess an individual’s reactivity to 48 neurological antigens with connections to a variety of neurologically related diseases. The Vibrant Neural ZoomerTM Plus aims to reduce neurological conditions by empowering patients and physicians with a vital resource for early risk detection and an enhanced focus on personalized primary prevention.

Food Sensitivity for the IgG & IgA Immune Response

Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate health issues associated with food sensitivities. The Food Sensitivity ZoomerTM is an array of 180 commonly consumed food antigens that offers very specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. This panel measures an individual’s IgG and IgA sensitivity to food antigens. Being able to test IgA antibodies provides additional information to foods that may be causing mucosal damage. Additionally, this test is ideal for patients who might be suffering from delayed reactions to certain foods. Utilizing an antibody-based food sensitivity test can help prioritize the necessary foods to eliminate and create a customized diet plan around the patient’s specific needs.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C.,C.C.S.T

Welcome-Bienvenido's to our blog. We focus on treating severe spinal disabilities and injuries. We also treat Sciatica, Neck and Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sport Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven therapies focused on optimal mobility, health, fitness, and structural conditioning. We use Individualized Diet Plans, Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Adapted Cross-Fit Protocols and the "PUSH System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. If you would like to learn more about a Doctor of Chiropractic who uses advanced progressive techniques to facilitate complete physical health, please connect with me. We a focus on simplicity to help restore mobility and recovery. I'd love to see you. Connect!

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