We all needs some omega-3 fats in our diet (especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)). The reason for this is because they are crucial for the proper functioning and maintenance of the nervous system, the brain in particular. Once inside your body, DHA gets converted into substances scientists call neuroprotectins. Without getting too scientific, Alzheimer's disease is linked to a lack of these neuroprotectins.
The Fatty Brain
Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA, EPA) provide universal advantages throughout the entire body. When we get enough of them, and in the right balance, they can and do reduce the risk of premature death and chronic illnesses. Healthy fats make up approximately two-thirds of the brain's tissue. About 30 percent of the protective sheath covering the neurons (nerve cells) is protein and the remaining 70 percent is fat. In infants and young children, Omega-3s play a vital role in the development of the child's brain and eyes.
There's always lots of scientific research going into the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Two such studies found that 800 – 900 mg of DHA daily, over a period of no less than 16 weeks, resulted in significant improvements in memory. There were also marked improvements in verbal fluency scores and rate of learning. You may have heard recently how fish oil is useful in cases with children suffering from ADD and ADHD. Well, it seems now that whatever benefits FO provides, krill oil offers even more.
Insufficient Levels of EPA and DHA
When there are low concentrations of EPA and DHA in the body, three changes are likely:
- Cognitive decline
- Increased risk of mood swings
- Prone to mood disorders more generally
To back these findings up, people who suffer from depression tend to have lower levels of omega-3 in their blood than those who are not depressed. A 2010 clinical study backs this up further. The trial involved 46 depressed elderly women. The researchers determined that the supplementation of omega-3 can indeed improve the quality of life by treating depression to reasonable effect.
Another report, this time published in the Alternative Medicine Review (2007) showed how the DHA and EPA in krill oil reduced a range of mental disorders like autism and dyslexia as two examples. DHA also acts as a protective agent, safeguarding cells from gene mutations that often lead to diseases of the brain, examples being certain forms of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
Further Reading of Interest
The scientific study below looks at treating depression with Omega-3 supplementation: The results from this clinical study look encouraging.