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  • Chris Sass

Fish Oil & Brain Benefits

The Amazing Brain-Boosting Effects of Omega-3 Fish Oil for Healing and Recovery

 

If you are suffering from neurological symptoms, there are many areas to focus on during the healing and recovery process. Diet and nutrition is a key component and in this blog we dive a little deeper into one aspect; fish oil. This blog will give a brief overview of why fish oil is key for brain health, brain benefits after taking fish oil, and how to correctly implement fish oil into your daily routine. Let’s break it all down.

fish oil neuroplasticity
Fish Oil can improve brain function!

After sustaining a brain injury, people may experience a wide variety of neurological symptoms. Some common examples are headaches, dizziness, disorientation, cognitive impairment including memory, concentration, and speaking difficulties, blurry vision, fatigue, sensitivity to light/sounds, and difficulty sleeping.


While these symptoms are still causing problems, many patients look into the area of diet and nutrition to help them in their recovery. Our objective in this blog is to provide information that will help you understand why fish oil is a critical component of brain healing and overall brain health.


Why fish oil?


The brain needs fatty acids in order to function properly. The most important are called omega 3 fatty acids, namely eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Fish oil has high concentrations of both EPA and DHA.


We believe DHA is the most important fatty acid and is "king" in healing the brain after recovery. DHA makes up 97% of the omega-3's found in the brain. DHA is a structural component in the cortex, which is involved in executive functioning tasks like language, memory, creativity, emotion, and attention. It also helps in neuron communication and supports optimal neurotransmitter levels.

One study showed that high levels of DHA were reported to decrease the probability of developing dementia by 47% and Alzheimer's by 39%!


Fish Oil Reduces Brain Inflammation


After sustaining a brain injury, oxidative stress can occur and result in inflammation and damage to the structure of brain cells. This can be the reason why people experience the symptoms listed above.


Omega 3's have shown to significantly reduce the inflammatory response in the brain after it is injured. EPA and DHA help restore brain function and protect against oxidative stress. EPA is better at reducing inflammation than DHA, which is why we commonly encourage people to find a supplement that contains both EPA and DHA.



Fish Oil Improves Brain Communication


DHA improves neuroplasticity and neurogenesis in the brain, Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to rewire itself and change, while neurogenesis is the brain's ability to create new neurons and connections between neurons. These are both critically important in properly healing the brain after injury.


Our mission at Great Lakes Functional Neurology is to help you understand your injury and get you back to normal, healthy living. We strive to equip you with the tools needed for a full neurological recovery. If you would like to know more, we would be happy to discuss our services in more detail with you. You can reach us at (616)-581-1558 or visit our website at www.greatlakesneurology.com and schedule a complimentary phone consult with one of our doctors.


Sources:


RamsdenC E, ZamoraD, FaurotK R, MacIntoshB, HorowitzM, KeyesG S et al. Dietary alteration of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids for headache reduction in adults with migraine: randomized controlled trialBMJ 2021; 374 :n1448 doi:10.1136/bmj.n1448


Che H, Fu X, Zhang L, Gao X, Wen M, Du L, Xue C, Xu J, Wang Y. Neuroprotective Effects of n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid-Enriched Phosphatidylserine Against Oxidative Damage in PC12 Cells. Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2018 Apr;38(3):657-668. doi: 10.1007/s10571-017-0516-y. Epub 2017 Jul 8. PMID: 28689275.


Khatri N, Thakur M, Pareek V, Kumar S, Sharma S, Datusalia AK. Oxidative Stress: Major Threat in Traumatic Brain Injury. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2018;17(9):689-695. doi: 10.2174/1871527317666180627120501. PMID: 29952272.


JAMA and Archives Journals. "Higher Level Of Certain Fatty Acid Associated With Lower Dementia Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 November 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061113180236.htm>.


 

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER The content above is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. Great Lakes Functional Neurology does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. We recommend readers that are taking prescription or over-the-counter medications consult their physicians before starting any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

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