TAG | brain
A recent study published in the Public Library of Sciences journal sought to determine the effect of Omega-3s on memory function. Healthy young subjects were supplemented with 2 grams of Omega-3 EPA + DHA daily (930 mg EPA + 750 DHA) for six months.
Over six months levels of the Omega-3s in red blood cell membranes (the best measure of tissue levels—where the omega-3s work) were increased in association with improvement in working memory. The researchers also tried to determine whether Omega-3 intake affected dopamine storage in the striatum of the brain, as measured by PET scans (positron-emission transmission scans). They did not find an effect, however, suggesting that dopamine storage in the striatum is not the mechanism by which Omega-3s affect working memory.
The interesting take away from this study is that young healthy people—who already have relatively good memory—were able to improve their working memory by taking Omega-3s. The researchers noted, “Before seeing this data, I would have said it was impossible to move young healthy individuals above their cognitive best. We found that members of this population can enhance their working memory performance even further, despite their already being at the top of their cognitive game.”
“So many of the previous studies have been done with the elderly or people with medical conditions, leaving this unique population of young adults unaddressed,” stated Matthew Muldoon, an investigator of the study, “Can we help the brain achieve its full potential by adapting our healthy behaviors in our young adult life? We found that we absolutely can.”
More studies will be needed to determine just how these beneficial fats work in the brain to improve memory. In the meantime, keep taking your Omega-3!
Expectant moms have a lot to think about when it comes to their babies’ health, like eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, and making sure they avoid things like smoking and alcohol. But what if something you couldn’t even see was affecting the healthy growth of your baby while it was still in the womb?
Experts at the University of California, Berkeley recently found that exposure to flame-retardant chemicals called PBDEs (polybrominated diphenylethers) could significantly affect the healthy brain development of babies in utero. Used in countless consumer products such as electronics, building materials, carpet and upholstery, motor vehicles and more, PBDEs have also been linked to increased risk of miscarriage and premature birth.
So what’s the connection? Researchers looked at more than 250 pregnant women and found that exposure to PBDEs may result in reduced levels of specific thyroid hormones necessary for healthy fetal brain development, and that higher levels of PBDEs in the mother’s blood were linked to lower levels of important thyroid-stimulating hormones.
The study, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, underscores the danger of our modern environment and the thousands of toxins to which we are exposed daily. Curious about how toxic you are? Visit Brenda Watson’s Detox Strategy today and take the quiz! Plus, learn Brenda’s simple tips on how to reduce toxic exposure and eliminate stored toxins from your body.