Omega-3 Oil Improves Your Memory


How Omega-3 Oil Improves Your Memory

Sherry Brescia - 10/02/2010

50-60% of your brain's solid matter is fat.

Now, the fat in your brain is not the same as the fat in your love handles or backside. Brain fat is structural fat- -the kind that forms your cell membranes and plays a vital role in how well your cells function.

Your brain's neurons--the cells that transmit chemical messages--are extremely rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

But if you're eating anything close to a typical Western diet loaded with Omega-6 fatty acids and grossly lacking Omega-3's, your brain is being deprived of what it needs to function.

This can impair your ability to think, learn and remember.

A pioneering study was done in 1975 with rats where one group was fed a heavy Omega-6 safflower oil diet, and the other rats were given a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.

When tested in a simple maze, rats that consumed safflower oil made the right choice only 60% of the time. But the rats who ate the Omega-3 heavy diet had a success rate of 90% and over.

Studies have also been done on humans with similarly impressive results.

With Babies

In one study, researchers examined 3 groups of babies: One group had been fed breast milk (which is naturally rich in DHA); A second group was fed formula but was also given Omega-3 fish oil supplements, and the third was fed just formula.

The breast-fed babies and the formula-plus-Omega-3 babies had similar scores in brain and visual function tests, while the formula-only babies had significantly lower scores.

With School-Age Kids

Researchers at Purdue University measured essential fatty acid levels of 100 boys between the ages of 6 and 12. They found that the children with the highest levels of Omega-3 fatty acids had the fewest learning disabilities and difficulties.

And there's evidence that Omega-3 supplementation is just as helpful for adults.

Here's How...

A certain type of brain wave (called a p300) is linked with learning and memory. The faster the rate of transmission, the more efficiently the brain is functioning.

In a recent study, 26 normal adult volunteers were hooked up to electrodes and given a test that measured their p300
rate.

Right after the test, they were given DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) supplements, and two hours later their brain waves were measured again.

In each case, their p300 rates had risen significantly.

The Moral of the Story?

Young or old, daily supplementation with Omega-3 fatty acids from fish can help maximize your brain's functioning, and even can help protect against dementia in your older years.
   

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