DHA Omega-3 Benefits Can Take Years Off Your Brain’s Age

Filed Under: Mood & Memory, Nutrients and Additives

DHA omega-3 benefits can maintain brain health, including neuronal function.

Discover how a DHA omega-3 supplement, and DHA-rich foods, can take years off your brain's age.

We've been told for so long that mental decline is normal with aging that we've come to believe it, and even expect it. But while the degenerative process speeds up as you age, your mind doesn't have to fail or your memory decline. In fact, your brain can get better as you get older.

One of the keys to a healthy brain is the same vital fat that helps to keep your heart healthy—omega-3s. But while your heart needs two types of omega-3s—eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—your brain only receives DHA omega-3 benefits. DHA omega-3 supplements are absorbed by the brain tissue, where they are not only anti-inflammatory, but preserve neuronal function as well. 

A DHA Omega-3 Supplement Can Take Years Off Your Brain’s Age

Researchers studied 485 adults with age-related cognitive decline. They gave a test group a daily 900 mg dose of DHA omega-3 supplements for 24 weeks. They also tested the participants learning and memory at the beginning of the trial, and again at the end. What they found is that the DHA omega-3 supplement group had a 3.4 year net improvement in learning and memory function.

This news adds to the growing volume of studies on the importance of DHA omega-3 benefits for brain health. One of the most significant is a nine-year follow up with participants who participated in the famous Framingham Heart Study. What they found is that those participants with the highest intake of fish - natural sources of omega-3s - and DHA omega-3 supplements exhibited better brain health than those with the lowest levels. 

The bottom line for you? Everyone should get at least one gram of marine-based omega-3 heavy oil a day, either through the diet (eat good-quality coldwater fish, such as wild salmon) or a high DHA omega-3 supplement. If you have heart disease, I recommend 1-2 grams daily. Some of the most beneficial omega-3 oils for brain health are calamari and algae oil. Both have abundantly more brain-healthy DHA than most regular fish or krill oils.

Now it’s your turn: What are you doing to maintain your mental sharpness as you age?

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