What To Look For When Buying Fish Oil
When youre shopping for a fish oil supplement, make sure you buy one thats guaranteed to be free of impurities and potentially harmful substances like heavy metals and pesticides. The supplement you choose should also state on its label that it is concentrated. This means youll get the most possible Omega 3 fatty acids per serving. A good product will contain at least 750 mg of the EPA and DHA, the Omega 3s that give fish oil its benefits per capsule.
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Contextual Fear Conditioning Test
The contextual fear conditioning test was conducted as reported previously,,. Mice were first habituated to the behavioral room, and were then allowed to freely explore the apparatus for 3min. During training, mice were placed in a conditioning chamber A, and exposed to tone-foot-shock pairings , with an interval of 80s, 24h after training. Mice were returned to the chamber A to evaluate contextual fear learning. Two hours later, cued fear conditioning was performed. Each mouse was placed into novel chamber B, monitored for 3min. Freezing during training and testing was scored using Med Associates Video-Tracking and Scoring software. Data were analyzed using a two-tailed Students t-test or one-way ANOVA and the Bonferroni test.
Fish Oils And Cognitive Function
Todays Geriatric MedicineVol. 7 No. 1 P. 30
Fish is brain food.
The origin of this bromide is unclear, but scientific support for this idea during both the sunrise and sunset years of life is growing.
Scientists began to link fish oils, which are rich sources of two omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid , with brain health by observing that DHA is one of the two most plentiful fatty acids in the brain, and that it is particularly enriched in the retina of the eye, an extension of the brain. If its there, its probably doing something.
Studies in animals1 and in newborn babies2 have confirmed that visual function and certain learning behaviors are adversely affected by DHA deficiency. More recently, anecdotal stories of very high doses of fish oil being used to successfully treat traumatic brain injury3 and of animal experiments showing accelerated healing after spinal cord injury4 continue to build the evidence base for omega-3s playing a functional role in the central nervous system.
Background Before examining the studies themselves, some background on how scientists study diet-disease relationships may be helpful.
The strongest of these study designs typically is the prospective/biomarker approach, but even this cannot show that a deficiency of nutrient X causes the diseaseassociation never proves causationbut this is considered good evidence of possible causation.
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Fish Oil May Improve Depression
Finding treatments for depression and other mental health disorders continues to be a public health priority, and the desire for non-medicinal interventions to improve symptoms will likely increase.
People have long thought that fish oil is linked to improvements in mental health, but does the research actually back up this claim?
A recent review of clinical studies concluded that taking fish oil supplements improved depressive symptoms in people with depression, with effects comparable to those of antidepressant medications .
However, the greatest improvements in depressive symptoms seemed to occur in people who were also taking antidepressants. Additionally, people tended to see greater effects when the fish oil supplement contained higher doses of EPA .
It is still unclear how EPA and omega-3s improve depressive symptoms.
Researchers have suggested it may be related to their effects on serotonin and serotonin receptors in the brain. Others have proposed that omega-3s from fish oil could improve depressive symptoms through anti-inflammatory effects .
Additional evidence suggests that fish oil may improve other mental health conditions like borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder.
However, more high-quality research is needed before the medical community can make definitive recommendations .
Does That Mean Fish Oil Makes Me Smarter
The fish oil you get from eating healthy amounts of fish each week is good for your brain. That is clear. However, it is not necessarily the case that higher amounts of fish oil will inevitably boost your cognitive abilities beyond the benefits you will get from simply getting enough fish oil from fish.
Taking fish oil does not make you smarter or help you remember when you already have an adequate intake Explains Dr. Hussein Yassine, Keck Medicine Endocrinologist at USC in Los Angeles and Associate Professor of Medicine at USCs Keck School of Medicine
Unfortunately, more is not better when you are already at the beginning of the study. This is not a smart pill you cant take it and remember things, he adds.
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Omega Fatty Acids Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation has recently been the focus in the search to understand Alzheimers Disease. While inflammation’s relationship to Alzheimers Disease is not completely understood, we know that inflammation can contribute heavily to the deterioration of the brain seen in Alzheimers Disease. Omega Fatty Acids reduce this inflammation and some studies have subsequently found that Omega Fatty Acids reduce the likelihood of Alzheimers Disease and cognitive decline.
Risks Side Effects And Drug Interactions
Omega-3s from supplements usually produce only mild side effects, if any at all, when taken at recommended doses. While they are generally tolerated well, fish oil side effects can include:
Taking a high-quality supplement may reduce the likelihood of any unwanted side effects. Its also a good idea to take fish oil pills with meals to reduce side effects.
Before taking this product, you should speak with your doctor if you currently take any medication or have any ongoing health concerns. You should also speak to your doctor if you have a known fish or shellfish allergy.
If you have a bleeding disorder, bruise easily or take blood-thinning medications, you should use these supplements with extra caution, since large doses of omega-3 fatty acids can increase bleeding risk. This bleeding risk also applies to people with no history of bleeding disorders or current medication usage.
If you have type 2 diabetes, you should only use supplements under your doctors supervision. Individuals with type 2 diabetes can experience increases in fasting blood sugar levels while taking fish oil supplements.
Avoiding Low-Quality Supplements:
Also, not all fish oils are created equal. Most fish oils are highly processed and can oxidize easily because omega-3 fats are polyunsaturated, have a low heat threshold and can easily go rancid.
Is Fish Oil for Dogs and Pets Safe?
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Fish Oil May Benefit Mild Memory Loss
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil play important roles in brain function and development. There are also claims that fish oil can improve brain function in people with memory problems, such as those with Alzheimers disease or other cognitive impairments.
Alzheimers disease is the most common type of dementia and impacts brain function and quality of life in millions of elderly adults. Finding a supplement that could improve brain function in this population would be a major, life-changing discovery.
Unfortunately, a review of the research found no compelling evidence that omega-3 supplements like fish oil improve brain function in people with Alzheimers disease .
On the other hand, several studies have suggested that taking fish oil supplements may improve brain function in people with more mild types of brain conditions like mild cognitive impairment or age-related cognitive decline .
These types of conditions arent quite as severe as Alzheimers disease, but they still result in memory loss and sometimes other types of impaired brain function.
One study gave 485 older adults with age-related cognitive decline either 900 mg of DHA or a placebo every day. After 24 weeks, those taking DHA performed better on memory and learning tests .
Based on this research, it appears that fish oil supplements may be most beneficial when people start taking them in the early stages of brain function decline. If you wait too long, fish oil may be of little benefit to the brain.
Does That Mean Fish Oil Will Make Me Smarter
The fish oil you get from eating healthy amounts of fish each week is good for your brain. Thats clear. But its not necessarily the case that higher amounts of fish oil necessarily boosts your cognitive abilities above and beyond the benefit youll get from simply getting enough fish oil from fish.
Taking fish oil will not make you smarter or help you remember more if you already have an adequate intake , explains Hussein Yassine, MD, an endocrinology physician with Keck Medicine of USC in Los Angeles and associate professor of medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine
Unfortunately, if youre already at baseline, more is not going to be better. This is not an ‘intelligent pill,’ you cant take it and start remembering things, he adds.
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Alzheimer’s Study Shows That Omega
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Can Fish Oil Help Your Memory And Keep Your Brain From Shrinking
Shrinking brain size is a normal process of aging. It is associated with decreased mental health and memory problems . So, can eating a diet rich in fish oils help keep your brain from shrinking? According to a study published in the January 2014 issue of Neurology the answer is yes.
The Womens Health Initiative Memory Study followed 1,111 women over an eight-year period of time. The women in the study were an average of 78 years old and were followed by researchers to determine whether omega-3 fatty acids levels in the blood could have an effect on their brain size.
The researchers found that the women with higher levels of omega-3s had larger brains at the end of the eight-year trial. They specifically noted a larger hippocampus. The hippocampus is an area of the brain that is vital for processing memories.
This is yet another study that speaks about the importance of omega-3 fatty acids.
So what do you need to do
In order to reap the benefits of omega-3s make sure to include some of the following into your diet: tuna, salmon, sardines, anchovies, herring, mackerel, and trout. Just remember that while eating more fish is a good idea, some may have high levels of mercury, PCBs, or other toxins.
Other dietary sources include: flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil, soybeans, soybean oil, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed oil, walnuts, and walnut oil.
If you have any questions about nutrition or supplementsjust ask at our next appointment.
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How Much Does It Take
There is no official recommended daily allowance of DHA . If you choose to eat fish, you may want to keep an eye on your intake due to concerns about contaminants such as mercury.
DHA and another omega-3 fatty acid, EPA, are found in fish, eggs fortified with omega-3 fatty acids, and fish oil supplements. Another omega-3 fatty acid, ALA, is found in walnuts, soybean oil, and flax seeds.
Does Coconut Oil Help Prevent Dementia
There have been some claims that coconut oil could be used as a treatment, or even a cure, for Alzheimer’s disease. However, there is currently not enough experimental evidence to back up these claims.The claim is based on the theory that the brain cells of people with Alzheimer’s disease are unable to use glucose to produce energy properly, and so the nerve cells ‘starve’.
Some believe coconut oil may act as an alternative energy source for the brain. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to know whether this is the case.
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Does Fish Oil Help With Brain Fog
In general, brain fog is when your thinking could be described as slow or fuzzy, says Harvard Medical School. Fish oil could possibly help you think clearer, but perhaps only if you are deficient in omega-3s to begin with.
One study, of nearly 300 healthy women ages 18 to 35 found that those who had the lowest levels of omega-3s scored lower on cognitive tests measuring attention compared to women with mid-range or high omega 3 levels, according to the research in Lipids in Health and Disease in November 2019. Though its worth noting that in that study, those cognitive scores were only slightly higher in women with higher levels of omega-3s.
Even the lowest group still had cognitive scores in the normal range, but it still shows that their brain function wasnt at its best.
Omega 3s have anti-inflammatory properties, which means they may protect the brain from damage from free radicals that leads to disease and aging.
The Lipids in Health and Disease studys authors suggest in that paper that this effect may support function and firing of neurons, and they may also influence dopamine pathways involved in attention and memory.
But given the lack of robust evidence on whether fish oil can help with brain fog, the answer to that question is still not conclusive.
Benefits Of Fish Oil For Cardiovascular Health
People with CKD are at an increased risk of developing CVD and vice versa, in fact, people with CKD are more likely to die from CVD than they are from their kidney disease. For this reason, its super important to look after your cardiovascular health if you have kidney disease.
Fish oil has been shown to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, it reduces heart attacks, strokes, coronary artery disease, sudden cardiac death and may reduce total mortality by as much as 20-50%.
Here are some of the ways fish oil reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease:
- Improves cholesterol levels- specifically fish oil has been shown to lower triglycerides, very-low-density lipoproteins and total cholesterol and increase HDL . Not only that but fish oil reduces the oxidation of cholesterol which is the real problem child when it comes to cholesterol.
- Reduce and possibly reverse atherosclerosis – fish oil may also incorporate into atherosclerotic plaques making them more stable and less likely to rupture which reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Reduce inflammation and oxidative stress- inflammation and oxidative stress both contribute to the development and progression of CVD.
- Reduces blood pressure
- Improves blood flow throughout the body- fish oil helps to relax blood vessels, improving the delivery of blood and oxygen to the heart, the brain and throughout the rest of the body.
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Does It Cause Prostate Cancer
The National Institute of Health tells us that there is conflicting evidence on whether omega-3s might influence the risk of prostate cancer.
In 2013 a study came out that made a lot of people concerned about fish oil supplements and cancer. The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, showed that men who consume the largest amount of omega-3 oil had a 71 percent higher risk of high-grade prostate cancer and a 43 percent increase in all types of prostate cancer.
The study was conducted on 2,227 men, of which 38 percent of the men already had prostate cancer.
The biggest risk seemed to be associated with mega doses of omega-3s.
The American Heart Association considers taking up to three grams of fish oil per day safe. It advises that patients taking more than 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids from capsules should do so only under a physicians care.
Most physicians would say that taking 2+ grams daily is a mega dose.
The reason why fish oil may potentially increase a mans risk of prostate cancer seems to be due to an imbalance in fatty acid intake. If your diet contains too many omega-3 fatty acids, your immune system wouldnt work very well because omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are meant to work in a system of checks and balances.
Take a look at how much fish oil you take and what brand you take. Be sure to follow dosage guidelines to reduce your risk for unwanted effects.
Three Strategies To Try Instead
Do a brain workout. Enhancing reasoning and memory abilities learning a new language, for instance might help delay or slow decline. A 10-year trial found that such training can help increase cognitive processing speed and sharpen reasoning skills.
Exercise your body. In 2011, one study estimated that a million cases of Alzheimers disease in the United States were caused by sedentary lifestyle. Several studies have found that physical activity walking, weightlifting, yoga or tai chi, for example may delay or slow cognitive decline but not prevent it.
Manage blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure dramatically reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, which are risk factors for memory loss.
Copyright 2018, Consumer Reports Inc.
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Can Fish Oil Help You Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Petra Trudell, Managing Editor8 April 2014
|Fish oil is rich in essential fatty acids that can boost brain health. But could it be the secret to preventing this extreme form of dementia? Keep reading to learn more about the latest research.|
- Exercise — A 2012 study published in Neuroscience found 30 minutes of walking or jogging four times a week helped participants score better on memory tests.
- Weight Management — Your risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease increases when you’re overweight, so try to get within the desired range for your height through proper diet and exercise.
- Reduce Stress — Among the many negative side effects of having too much stress in your daily life is an increased risk for dementia. Find an activity you enjoy to reduce stress daily.
- B Vitamins — A study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America found a connection between B vitamins and a drastically slower rate of gray brain matter atrophy. Patients consumed 0.5 mg of B12, 0.8 mg of folic acid and 20 mg of B6 daily.
- Challenge Your Brain — Practice puzzles, learn a new language or even try to use your non-dominant hand for daily tasks to keep testing your brain and strengthening it.
- Antioxidants — Consuming foods rich in antioxidants will help defend the cells of the brain against damage and degeneration caused by free radical invaders.
Shop for fish oil supplements at eVitamins to support a healthy mind and body. Stay well!