Omega 3 Fatty Acids Support a Healthy Brain

Omega 3 and healthy brains
Did you know that two thirds of your brain is composed of fat?  That’s right, nearly 70% of the make up of this vital organ is fatty tissue, but not just any fat – essential fats known as essential fatty acids.  Essential fatty acids, especially what is known as omega-3’s compose a large majority of the brain.  And not just any omega-3, we can get pretty specific here.  Omega-3 fatty acids containing the long chain EPA’s and DHA’s – largely derived from sea food and algae- are where the most important oils are to support a healthy brain.

Scientists have seen that early humans who lived by the ocean, eating a diet high in fish and algae, grew bigger brains faster than their in-land counterparts.  The essential fatty acids found in fish and the food fish eat – algae – feed the brain like nothing else on earth.  These specialized fats allowed early humans to learn and evolve at a fast rate – and they do the same for us today.

In the womb, 70% of the calories produced go toward feeding the brain of the growing baby.  That’s a lot.  We continue to require essential fats to keep our brains healthy and happy.  A lack of proper omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to various dis-eases in the brain and in the mind such as bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, major depressive disorder (MDD), ADHD, autism, dyslexia as well as borderline personality disorder.

The crazy thing about this is there are lots of great places to get omega-3 fatty acids from that contain short chain ALA’s, but very few food sources that give you the all-important, brain-supporting EFA’s and DHA’s.  Only fatty fish and the foods these fish eat – which is basically algae and algae oil – can supply our brains with EFA’s and DHA’s, and we do not produce these independently of our diet.  What this means is –  if you are a vegetarian avoiding fish and seafood, it is critical to be taking in blue-green algae, algae oil, marine phytoplankton or some other fish oil supplement to make sure you are feeding the brain, especially if you are pregnant.

The brain is a beautiful and complex organ and requires certain nutrients to keep it working properly.  One main brain nutrient is phosphorus – found in high quantities in bee pollen and lecithin. Phosphorus is critical to take in if you are a big ‘thinker’ or use your brain for writing, mathematics, philosophy or other high-brain activity occupations.  The other, perhaps more important nutrient for the brain, is omega-3 fatty acids high in long chain EPA and DHA.  There is no getting around it, our brain needs fat.

Omega-3 EPA’s and DHA’s have also been tied to inflammation and, when in proper balance in the body, can relieve symptoms of PMS and inflammatory symptoms of arthritis.  Some reports are now showing that certain fish oils, especially those found in skate oil, can greatly benefit the pineal gland and help to break down any calcification that might have built up there due to drinking fluoridated water or just simple inactivity of the gland.

There is no question, our brains are largely fat.  In order to maintain a healthy brain it is important to ingest proper amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA’s and DHA’s in order to support brain function, happiness and life balance.   If you are someone who is ‘getting beyond’ the whole food paradigm as some people are, contemplation of these vital nutrients and how they fit into the function of life is important in order to eventually transcend them.

Written by: Stasia Bliss

Sources: FITDAY; Aurora Algae; ConsumerLab.com; The World’s Healthiest Foods; Harvard School of Public Health; NCBI Public Health; Resources for Science Learning

2 Responses to "Omega 3 Fatty Acids Support a Healthy Brain"

  1. Omegafort SCC (@Omegafort_EN)   July 31, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    We’ve been gratified to see study after study coming out over the course of decades that strengthens the links between essential fatty acids and mental health and acuity, as well as mood and emotional stability. We invite interested readers to learn more about omega-3 and cognitive function on our website at http://www.expertomega3.com/omega-3-benefits/cognitive_functions.asp.

    Reply
  2. Peter Bixler   July 16, 2013 at 5:47 am

    I question the value of eating large amounts of Omega 3 or any unsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acid. Yes, the brain is mostly fat, but it is mostly saturated fat (as is about 97% of the fat in our tissues). Unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are unstable and oxidize quickly in warm temperatures (like in our bodies) and that causes them to be highly inflammatory and damaging when eaten in large quantities. Seed oils in particular (like corn, soybean and canola) are recent additions to our diet and have largely replaced saturated fats which are stable at high temperatures and are the fats that have traditionally been consumed (before the modern epidemics of obesity and disease). Unsaturated and polyunsaturated oils are also highly immunosuppressive (linoleic acid was used in the early days of organ transplants to suppress the immune systems of transplant recipients to prevent rejection. It was stopped when it was also found to promote rapid tumor growth). The concept of “essential fatty acids” may well be mythology.

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