• David Rivas

Feed Your Heart and Brain: The Story of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have demonstrated effectiveness for diminishing symptoms in different neurological/psychiatric diseases like depression and autism (1, 2). The great news about omega-3 fatty acids is that not only will your brain

benefit from it but also your heart.


In a recent analysis of 135,267 individuals, supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids demonstrated clinically significant effects in lowering cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. Similar to autism, the protective effects of omega-3 fatty acids are dose-dependent. For example:

*For every one gram intake per day of omega-3 fatty acids, the risk of heart attacks is reduced by 9%

What can we do?

*Dose is crucial for omega-3 fatty acids. Low doses tend to have a placebo effect (no effect at all).

*Two grams of omega-3 (DHA +EPA) daily are vital for heart health.

*The FDA recommends 3 grams per day of omega-3 fatty acids.

*The anti-inflammatory/pain-reducing dose of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA+DHA) is around 2.7 grams per day (4).

Tips for Omega-3 Fatty Acids:


*One gram of fish oil is not equal to one gram of the addition of EPA + DHA. Many over the counter products may mention one gram of fish oil, but, in reality, they have a very low dose of EPA and DHA, which are the active parts of fish oil. You have to manually add the amount of DHA and EPA per capsule and determine the number of capsules needed. Try to select triple-strength omega-3 fatty acids capsules.


*Always select a brand that is certified by IFOS.


*Nordic Naturals is one of the most respectable brands in the market.


*Food sources of omega-3 fatty acids: Flax seeds, walnuts, fish, chia seeds, hemp seeds, etc.


In summary, healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for heart health, and it is paramount for brain function.

References:

(1): Trebatická, J., Hradečná, Z., Surovcová, A., Katrenčíková, B., Gushina, I., Waczulíková, I., ... & Ďuračková, Z. (2020). Omega-3 fatty-acids modulate symptoms of depressive disorder, serum levels of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6/omega-3 ratio in children. A randomized, double-blind and controlled trial. Psychiatry Research, 287, 112911.


(2): Doaei, S., Bourbour, F., Teymoori, Z., Jafari, F., Kalantari, N., Torki, S. A., ... & Gholamalizadeh, M. The effect of omega-3 fatty acids supplementation on social and behavioral disorders of children with autism: a randomized clinical trial. Pediatric Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism, 26(1).


(3): Bernasconi, A. A., Wiest, M. M., Lavie, C. J., Milani, R. V., & Laukkanen, J. A. (2020, September). Effect of Omega-3 Dosage on Cardiovascular Outcomes: An Updated Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression of Interventional Trials. In Mayo Clinic proceedings.

(4): Goldberg, R. J., & Katz, J. (2007). A meta-analysis of the analgesic effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation for inflammatory joint pain. Pain, 129(1-2), 210-223.


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