Fish Oil Makes You Smarter

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tansy, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. tansy

    tansy New Member

    From Dr Mercola's web site

    Fish Oil Makes You Smarter

    A recent review of studies, including about 50 that have not yet been published, supports the theory that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a form of omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil, improves cognitive and behavioral performance.

    Based on the studies, researchers suggest that small differences in brain concentrations of DHA, such as those that most likely occur between infants fed supplemented or unsupplemented formulas, may result in subtle effects that currently are difficult to detect but could be significant.

    Animal studies have provided convincing and consistent evidence linking a decrease in brain concentrations of DHA to decreased performance on cognitive or behavioral tests.


    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 82, No. 2, 281-295, August 2005

    Is docosahexaenoic acid, an n–3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid, required for development of normal brain function?

    An overview of evidence from cognitive and behavioral tests in humans and animals1,2,3
    Joyce C McCann and Bruce N Ames
    1 From the Nutrition, Metabolism and Genomics Center, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, CA (JCM and BNA)

    This review is part of a series intended for nonspecialists that will summarize evidence relevant to the question of whether causal relations exist between micronutrient deficiencies and brain function.

    Here, we focus on experiments that used cognitive or behavioral tests as outcome measures in experimental designs that were known to or were likely to result in altered brain concentrations of the n–3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) during the perinatal period of "brain growth spurt."

    Experimental designs reviewed include observational breastfeeding studies and randomized controlled trials in humans and studies in rodents and nonhuman primates. This review is based on a large number of expert reviews and commentaries and on some 50 recent studies in humans and animals that have not yet been included in published reviews. Expert opinion regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the major experimental systems and uncertainties associated with interpreting results is summarized.

    On the basis of our reading of this literature, we conclude that evidence from several types of studies, particularly studies in animals, suggests that, within the context of specific experimental designs, changes in brain concentrations of DHA are positively associated with changes in cognitive or behavioral performance.

    Additional experimental information required to conclude that a causal association exists is discussed, as are uncertainties associated with applying results from specific experimental designs to the question of whether infant formula should be supplemented with DHA.
  2. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    for more readers....
  3. tandy

    tandy New Member

    Thanks for always sharing your finds with us here!!

    I've been reading alot about the benefits of fish oils too!! It is a mega brain food!
    I bought some and started it 2 weeks ago~

    Do you know that the Beechnut baby foods is now adding DHA to their jars of baby food?
    I believe between the ages of 3-4 months old thru 18 months is when you have the most new brain cell growth!!
    So all infants could benefit from this!!

    Take care :)
  4. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Scientists Discover How Fish Oil Protects the Brain By Karen Pallarito
    HealthDay Reporter
    Fri Sep 9,11:47 PM ET

    FRIDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Louisiana State University scientists say they have discovered how the fatty acids found in fish oil help protect the human brain from the type of cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease.

    Their study shows that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid found in coldwater fish such as mackerel, sardines and salmon, reduces levels of a protein known to cause damaging plaques in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

    What's more, the researchers discovered that a derivative of DHA, which they dubbed "neuroprotectin D1" (NPD1), is made in the human brain. That natural substance plays a key role, too, in protecting the brain from cell death, the study showed.

    "Now what does this tell us from the point of view of the disease? I believe that, obviously, diet is a major issue here," said Dr. Nicolas G. Bazan, director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.

    "DHA is an essential building block for the structure of brain cells," he noted. "And now we are finding that this building block also makes a 'golden brick' (NPD1) that helps the life of the neurons to continue."

    Greg M. Cole, associate director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine, said the study "provides strong evidence" that NPD1 offers "several important protective contributions."

    The study was released online Sept. 8, in advance of its Oct. 1 publication in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

    Bazan, who is currently staying in Philadelphia, had been in Poland to give the opening lecture at a meeting on neurodegenerative diseases when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. So far, he said, he has re-established contact with about half of the roughly 115 people who work at the LSU neuroscience center.

    Due to the state of emergency in New Orleans, the center won't resume work until perhaps late November or early December, interrupting what Bazan calls the most exciting period in his scientific career.

    Indeed, while previous studies have suggested that DHA reduces the risk of Alzheimer's-related cognitive deficits, scientists haven't explored how the fatty acid may work its protective magic.

    Some 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, according to the Alzheimer's Association. If no cure is found, as many as 16 million could have the disease by 2050, as the population ages.

    Bazan and colleagues at LSU and Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston conducted a series of experiments. Some of the testing involved postmortem human brain samples harvested from six patients who had Alzheimer's disease and an equal number of age-matched "control" samples from people who did not have the disease.

    The researchers also used technology called tandem mass spectrometry to analyze changes within brain cells.

    Studies show DHA is highly concentrated in the brain and retina of the eye. In earlier research, Bazan's team discovered that NPD1 is produced in cells that are critical for vision. They wondered whether the brain might do the same.

    "And the human brain, sure enough, makes neuroprotectin D1," Bazan found.

    Cole, the UCLA researcher, noted: "This study also shows that both DHA and its NPD1 product are effective in treating human brain cells and reducing the inflammation and toxicity from a toxin called beta amyloid that is widely believed to cause Alzheimer's."

    The researchers also examined specific areas of the brains of people with Alzheimer's, including an area critical to memory formation and cognition. "And that area shows huge -- I mean 20-, 25-fold -- decreases in neuroprotectin D1, as compared with other areas in the same human brain," Bazan said.

    Furthermore, in cell studies designed to mimic the effects of aging, the team found that adding DHA reduced the secretion of toxic beta amyloid proteins and, at the same time, spurred production of NPD1.

    "We are concluding that neuroprotectin D1 induces a gene expression program that is neuroprotective, meaning that it promotes survival of brain cells," Bazan said. And that discovery, he added, could one day lead to the development of a new treatment to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

    For now, though, people should pursue a nutritional approach to warding off Alzheimer's and diminishing the effects of the disease.

    Since DHA sources are safe, cheap, available and clinically proven to fight heart disease, the nation's number one killer, Cole said he would advise families of Alzheimer's patients to make sure their loved ones get the minimum recommended DHA from their diet or supplements. Experts recommend 200 to 300 milligrams per day, a far greater amount than the 60 to 80 milligrams daily that Americans typically get in their diet, he noted.

    More information

    Learn more about Alzheimer's disease by visiting the National Institute on Aging's Alzheimer's Disease Education & Referral Center.
  5. elsa

    elsa New Member

    DHA has proven to be very effective in child/adult ADHD as well as in treatment of mild to moderate depression. PFA for repair, maintainance and function of brain and nervous system.

    It works very well with amino acid therapy and balancing of neurotransmitters.

    Great minds ( all be it ME/CFIDS minds ..LOL) thinking alike today. Just finished going over DHA studies when I saw your post .... perfect timing!

    Take care,

  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    For the last 25 years of her life. She swore it cured her "arthritis," which actually was a horrible FMS flare from which she recovered. Still, after that flare, she was never quite the same. She had some cognitive problems but was basicaly really sharp even at age 92 when she died from a massive heart attack.

    She swore by fish oil. I love salmon and eat it as often as I can. It's hard to find wild Alaskan salmon which Dr. Perricone recommends. He believes inflammation is responsible for premature aging of the brain and body. I do eat wild Atlantic salmon when the stores have it. I have found Coho salmon frozen in shrink wrap at the store and it is delicious. I bypass the bright orange salmon which is farm raised. The info states that the color is achieved through feeding methods--Yikes!

    Dr. Perricone also recommends antioxidants, including Coenzyme Q-10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and Acetyl L-Carnetine. The store here sells a combo supplement which contains the ALA and ALC together. One less supplement pill or tablet to have to take.

    Thanks, as always, for the good info.

    Love, Mikie

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