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Background . I took 4 T of flaxs...

Posted Aug 24 2008 9:17pm

Background . I took 4 T of flaxseed oil during the day (instead of just before bedtime) and measured its effect with a cursor test . The test was how accurately I move the cursor from one point to another with a single movement. The result was a sharp improvement — some of which lasted, some of which didn’t. (Just to be perfectly clear: what’s varied is not my daily amount of flaxseed oil. It’s the time of day I take it. I’m varying the time between a short-lived peak in omega-3 concentration, which happens shortly after ingestion, and doing the cursor test. Usually they are far apart. The interesting data are what happens when I move them close together.)

New data. I tried the same thing again. Here are the results.

2nd test of FSO on cursor accuracy

The green line shows when I took 4 tablespoons of flaxseed oil. I took the oil at 8:30 am. The first test after that, at 9:30 am, showed the improvement. (In previous measurements of the short-term effects, it has taken closer to 2 hours to see the maximum effect.)

Here is a longer view, which emphasizes the constancy of the pre-test baseline.

wider view of results

For comparison, here are the earlier results.

earlier results with this test

Conclusions . When I take 4 T of flaxseed oil, it creates for a few hours a higher-than-usual concentration of flaxseed oil in my blood. I’m pretty sure the active ingredient is omega-3. This has two effects:

  • Better performance due to temporary effects. It’s hard to give these effects a good name. Better coordination, perhaps.
  • Better performance due to long-lasting effects. This is why performance was constant at a lower (better) level after the test than before. The higher-than-usual concentration caused a change (more “learning” than usual) that outlasted it. The concentration of flaxseed oil dropped back to average levels but the learning persisted.
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