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Omega-3s Promote Brain Health

Posted May 07 2012 11:26am
Omega-3s Promote Brain Health

Previously, a number of studies have suggested that dietary supplementation of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids exert a number of cardiovascular and circulatory benefits. David O. Kennedy, from Northumbria University (United Kingdom), and colleagues studied 65 healthy adults, ages 18 to 29 years. Each subject was given either a supplement of docosahexaenoic acid-rich fish oil (1 g or 2 g) or placebo (olive oil), for a 12-week long period.  The team monitored changes in the concentration of hemoglobin markers in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, while subjects performed computerized cognitive tests. Those participants who received the fish oil, in either dose, demonstrated significantly increased concentrations of hemoglobin, indicative of increased cerebral blood flow, as compared to the placebo group.  Writing that: “Supplementation with fish oil significantly increases cerebral blood flow," the study authors conclude that: "Docosahexaenoic acid may be particularly relevant for cerebrovascular function.”

Philippa A. Jackson, Jonathon L. Reay, Andrew B. Scholey, David O. Kennedy.  “Docosahexaenoic acid-rich fish oil modulates the cerebral hemodynamic response to cognitive tasks in healthy young adults.”  Biological Psychology, Volume 89, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 183-190.

  
Omega-3 fatty acids may improve cognitive functioning, presumably by increasing cerebral blood flow.
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263. Coffee Clutch
Don’t underestimate the humble cup of coffee. A European team reports that a daily cup of coffee helps to minimize the oxidative damage to DNA. Enrolling 38 men and women for a controlled intervention trial where each subject consumed 800 ml of paper-filtered coffee or water daily over 5 days. The researchers found that coffee reduced the oxidative damage to DNA, as measured by a decreased formation of oxidized purines, by 12.3%.

Among the most frequently consumed beverages worldwide, coffee is rich in antioxidants, with one cup providing 350 mg of phenolic compounds...
 
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