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Is Fish Really Brain Food?

Posted Nov 29 2012 3:00am
One of the biggest complaints about or against traditional allopathic medicine is that it's reactive & defensive, that all traditional physicians do is treat disease, rather than prevent it, that we only prescribe medications produced by those evil pharmaceutical companies.  Instead, these non-traditional physicians & health care providers offer you private labeled nutraceuticals w/miraculous claims but w/o support of human data.  So I started out this week thinking about all the non-prescription options that might improve our health.

Well, when you get down to it, the two things that have been proven to improve our health is better nutrition and regular physical activity.  Yet, despite this vocal anti-medicine minority, the vast majority are still looking for a quick fix.  That's why it was so serendipitous that I stumbled upon those two B vitamin studies looking at their effect against diabetic neuropathy and association w/decline in physical function .

Tonight, I just stumbled upon yet another potential quick fix in a cross-over placebo controlled study published early online in Nutrition Journal in which the authors concluded that fish improved cognitive performance in healthy adults in just 5 short weeks compared to placebo.  They reached their conclusion by offering 3g/d of fish oil to 40 healthy middle-aged to elderly participants 51-72yo w/body mass index 20-30kg/m2 for 5 weeks, followed by a 5 week washout period in a randomized fashion.

For those of you interested in improving your cognitive function in just over a month by replicating this study, the participants took 5 capsules of fish oil daily which contained a total of 1,500mg EPA & 1050mg DHA along w/450mg unspecified omega 3 fatty acids.  Realize that your average 1g dose of fish oily is not nearly as concentrated and contains just 180mg EPA + 120mg DHA, so you'd need 8+ capsules to get an equivalent amount of EPA & DHA.  Think about that when you purchase your next bottle of fish oil!
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