Health News #24: Omega-3 Oil General Benefits its effect on the Brain Aging and Depression

Omega-3 Oil General Benefits its effect on the Brain Aging and Depression

Can fish oils and omega-3 oils benefit our health?

Eating fish is a better way of getting omega 3 than taking supplements.
Omega-3 fatty acids are fats commonly found in plants and marine life.

Two types are plentiful in oily fish:

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA): The best-known omega-3 fatty acid, EPA helps the body synthesize chemicals involved in blood clotting and inflammation (prostaglandin-3, thromboxane-2, and leukotriene-5). Fish obtain EPA from the algae that they eat.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): In humans, this omega-3 fatty acid is a key part of sperm, the retina, a part of the eye, and the cerebral cortex, a part of the brain.

DHA is present throughout the body, especially in the brain, the eyes and the heart. It is also present in breast milk.

Omega 3 oil Health benefits:

1. Multiple sclerosis – help people with multiple sclerosis (MS) due to its protective effects on the brain and the nervous system.

2. Prostate cancer – alongside a low-fat diet, may reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.

3. Post-partum depression – reduce the risk of post-partum depression. Researchers advise that eating fish with a high level of omega 3 two or three times a week may be beneficial.

4. Mental health – an 8 week pilot study in 2007 suggested that fish oils may help young people with behavioral problems, especially those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children who consumed between 8 and 16 grams (g) of EPA and DHA per day, showed significant improvements in their behavior, as rated by their parents and the psychiatrist working with them.

5. Memory benefits – helps improve working memory in healthy young adults.

6. Heart and cardiovascular benefits –

a. Protects the heart during times of mental stress.
b. through its anti-inflammatory properties, appears to help stabilize atherosclerotic lesions.
c. People with stents in their heart who took two blood-thinning drugs as well as omega-3 fatty acids were found in one study to have a lower risk of heart attack compared with those not taking fish oils.

7. Alzheimer’s disease – a diet high in fish, omega-3 oils, fruit, and vegetables reduced the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

8. Vision loss – Adequate dietary consumption of DHA protects people from age-related vision loss.

9. Epilepsy – People with epilepsy could have fewer seizures if they consumed low doses of omega-3 fish oil every day.

10. Schizophrenia and psychotic disorders – helps reduce the risk of psychosis.

11. Healthy fetal development – help boost fetal cognitive and motor development.

Foods

The fillets of oily fish contain up to 30 percent oil. Oily fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids include anchovies, herring, sardines, salmon, trout, and mackerel.

Other animal sources of omega-3 fatty acids are egg
Vegetable-based alternatives to fish oil for omega 3 include:

flax
hempseed
perilla oil
spirulina
walnuts
chia seeds
radish seeds, sprouted raw
fresh basil
leafy dark green vegetables, such as spinach
dried tarragon

Risks
Taking fish oils and omega 3 supplements may pose a risk for some people.

Omega 3 supplements may affect blood clotting. They can sometimes trigger side effects, such as belching, indigestion, or diarrhea. It is important to note that the FDA does not regulate quality or purity of supplements. Buy from a reputable source and whenever possible take in Omega 3 from a natural source.

The AHA recommend shrimp, light canned tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish as being low in mercury.

They advise avoiding shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, as these can be high in mercury.

Anyone who is considering supplements should first check with a health care provider. READ MORE

Healthy brain aging linked to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the blood

A study examined the frontoparietal network of the brain that plays an important role in fluid intelligence and also declines early, even in healthy aging. Fluid intelligence describes the ability to solve problems one has never encountered before. Another study also examined the white matter structure of the fornix, a group of nerve fibers at the center of the brain that is important for memory

The fornix is one of the first brain regions to be compromised in Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers looked for patterns of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood of adults ages 65 to 75. They analyzed the relationship between these nutrient patterns and subjects’ brain structure and performance on cognitive tests.

In the first study the team found correlations between blood levels of three omega-3 fatty acids — ALA, stearidonic acid and ecosatrienoic acid — and fluid intelligence in these adults. The size of the left frontoparietal cortex played a mediating role in this relationship. People with higher blood levels of these three nutrients tended to have larger left frontoparietal cortices, and the size of the frontoparietal cortex predicted the subjects’ performance on tests of fluid intelligence.

In the second study, the team found that the size of the fornix was associated with a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the blood, and that a more robust fornix coincided with memory preservation in older adults.

These two studies highlight the importance of investigating the effects of groups of nutrients together, rather than focusing on one at a time. They suggest that different patterns of polyunsaturated fats promote specific aspects of cognition by strengthening the underlying neural circuits that are vulnerable to disease and age-related decline. READ MORE

DEPRESSION: OMEGA 3 BENEFITS WHITE MATTER

A recent study, which tested plasma levels before and after omega 3 supplementation, found positive results on depression severity that may have been attributed to improved white matter integrity.

It was found that those with high baseline red blood cell (RBC) levels of EPA and DHA, along with a high EPA and DHA: arachidonic acid (AA) ratio may have better depression symptomology after supplementation than those with low levels prior to taking omega-3 fatty acids.

The researchers concluded that omega-3 supplementation may be an effective treatment for depression, but the requisite dosage and duration of treatment may depend on the patient’s baseline level of omega-3 fatty acids.

White matter abnormalities are linked to depressive symptomology. When 16 acutely depressed patients were given fish oil supplementation for 6 weeks, there was a trend for greater increases in fractional anisotropy (FA), a measure of directionality of water diffusion, in the white matter of those with major depressive disorders.

Researchers also looked at the balance of lipids in the brain and found that the supplementation (which was a total of 4g of fish oil per day: 1.6g EPA and 0.8g DHA) increased DHA percentages in the plasma phospholipid levels of depressed subjects. Depression scales after supplementation were also improved.

The researchers concluded that increased FA correlated with increased DHA% and decreased depression severity after fish oil supplementation suggests therapeutic effects of omega-3 PUFAs may be related to improvements in white matter integrity. READ MORE

 

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