Omega-3 fatty acids and brain health

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association looked at the relationship between consumption of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and some physical measures of the brain that have been linked to “brain health” and “cognitive health.” This research was a bit different from many other studies of omega-3 fatty acids and potential health benefits, because most other studies have looked for relationships between dietary intake of these compounds (found especially in deep water fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, and mackerel) and major health outcomes, such as cardiovascular disease or depression. The JAHA article, on the other hand, narrowed the focus by examining measurable small-scale physical changes in the brain over a period as long as five years.

The results: people with higher omega-3 fatty acid levels showed a significantly lower number of the small-scale physical brain changes that may be associated with brain dysfunction or cognitive decline.
The study authors concluded that, among the older men and women who were the study’s subjects, higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, “and in particular DHA, were associated with specific findings consistent with better brain health.”

Our comment: a fascinating study, because it adds another level of evidence contributing to the already widely accepted view that omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for your brain, and indeed may provide important help in maintaining brain function as you age.

See the NYBC catalog for a selection of fatty acids, and note especially the Nordic Naturals Pro Omega choices, which are excellent quality fish oil supplements, containing the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids studied in the JAHA article:

FATTY ACIDS in the NYBC CATALOG

Of special interest is the Jarrow supplement Max DHA, which provides an enhanced dose of the omega-3 fatty acid often associated with brain health:

MAX DHA (Jarrow)

Reference:

Virtanen JK, Siscovick DS, Lemaitre RN, Longstreth WT, Spiegelman D, Rimm EB, King IB, & Mozaffarian D (2013). Circulating omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and subclinical brain abnormalities on MRI in older adults: the Cardiovascular Health Study. Journal of the American Heart Association, 2 (5) PMID: 24113325

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Resveratrol and Resveratrol Synergy

Recent well-regarded research has provided evidence that resveratrol can decrease the kinds of inflammation associated with heart disease, and can improve motor coordination, reduce cataract formation and preserve bone mineral density in aging laboratory animals. (See, for example, the report on an NIH-funded study published in the journal Cell Metabolism in August 2008.) In short, resveratrol may counteract many typical types of age-related deterioration in the body. As the researchers have noted, these anti-aging effects mimic the effect of drastically reducing (by 30-50%) food intake—but without requiring such a near-starvation diet.

That’s the recent research background on resveratrol. We’ll also note that resveratrol as a compound with potential health benefits was originally isolated as a component of red wine. Of course, in supplement form resveratrol can provide its health benefits without requiring the user to drink alcohol. That’s a practical advantage to supplementation that can’t be ignored.

Note that in addition to “Resveratrol,” NYBC also offers a compound supplement from Jarrow called “Resveratrol Synergy.” This product includes includes resveratrol, grape seed extract, and green tea extract. Grape seed extract has been studied mostly for cardiovascular support, while green tea has recently accumulated some interesting research supporting its anti-cancer and anti-aging effects.

To read more about these two supplements, see the NYBC entries:

Resveratrol: http://nybcsecure.org/product_info.php?cPath=50&products_id=330

and

Resveratrol Synergy: http://nybcsecure.org/product_info.php?cPath=50&products_id=245