Omega 3-Rich Fish Oil Feeds Your Brain

Fish oil is one of those supplements that everyone should be taking, especially if you are concerned about aging and memory loss. Two studies from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicated that Omega-3 fatty acid consumption slows age-related cognitive decline.

One study, conducted in theNetherlands, tracked the fish consumption of 210 healthy men age 70 to 89 over a five-year period. All of the men started the study with stable cognitive function. At the study’s conclusion, the men who did not consume any fish (which is an excellent source of EPA and DHA omega-3s) experienced cognitive decline four times greater than men who consumed fish on a regular basis. In this study, a clear dose-response relationship demonstrated that daily consumption of a total of 400 mg of EPA and DHA omega-3s was protective against decline in cognitive function.

A second study, conducted in the US, followed over 2000 middle-aged adults over nine years. They found that by the end of the study, those who had higher blood levels of omega-3s had significantly better verbal fluency than those with low levels.

The best source of Omega-3s is fish, however pollutants such as mercury, dioxins, and polychlorinated biphenols are showing up in this invaluable food source. A safer alternative is to take a high-quality fish oil supplement, which is molecularly distilled to remove the toxins and heavy metals. Fish oil has a wide variety of proven health benefits, so I recommend taking 3-4 grams of fish oil daily for brain health, heart health and joint health.

Weight Loss Tricks

 Are you thinking about trying to lose a few pounds, but aren’t sure where to start? Here’s one easy rule of thumb that will guarantee weight loss, without starvation: Don’t eat junk food!

 Of course we all know that junk food is high in calories, low in nutrients, and is packed with lots of offensive chemicals and preservatives. But the little secret that no one mentions, and is quite possibly the worst part about it, is the fact that it upregulates hunger signals, and blocks satiety (fullness) signals, effectively making a you eat even more! 

How does this happen? When the body is functioning as nature intends, the process of eating eventually triggers a feedback system. The digestive tract releases signals to the brain that enough food has been consumed, and satiety signals say “I’m full and satisfied” and make you to stop eating. But with high fat and high sugar junk food, (or “palatable food” as it is referred to in this study1) the feedback system is out of balance, and the “stop eating” switch isn’t triggered. This explains why eating junk food can actually leave you feeling even more hungry, leading to a sense of frustration that you can’t control your appetite. But it’s really the fault of the food.   

The best way to bring back the satiety signal is by eating a whole-foods based diet. Real food is very effective in letting the brain know you’ve eaten enough. And feeling full and satisfied after a healthy meal empowers you to realize that you can control your appetite, and that weight loss is actually an obtainable and healthy long-term goal. If you aren’t used to cooking with real food, take a cooking class, buy a good recipe book, or go online to learn the ropes. When you learn how to cook healthy and delicious meals, you’ll never want to go back to the junk!

 Reference: 1) Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2005 Aug;97(2):61-73