Medical research shows there’s a liquid that can extend your life and brain power.
No, it’s not an expensive drug cooked up in a lab. It’s a nutrient combination readily available in stores all over the place. Its benefits are backed by multiple studies.
The simple, inexpensive “secret” I’m talking about is the omega-3 fats in fish oil.
Fuel for Fast, Efficient Thinking
Omega-3 fats are premium brain fuel. A study at Rush University in Chicago shows that eating seafood at least once a week — or consuming a fish oil supplement — is crucial for keeping cognitive abilities at peak performance as you age.1
The research shows that seniors who don’t eat fish suffer increased memory loss and thinking difficulties, year by year.
“This study helps show that while cognitive abilities naturally decline as part of the normal aging process, there is something that we can do to mitigate this process,” says researcher Martha Clare Morris, a nutritional epidemiologist.
The researchers found that folks who are regular seafood consumers slow the decline of their semantic memory – the ability to remember particular words and use them in conversation. Plus, they enjoy a faster perceptual speed – the ability to rapidly recognize similarities among patterns, objects and letters.
The Rush scientists also found that the protective nature of omega-3s is especially evident for people who carry the APOE-ε4 gene – a gene that puts you at greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease. About one person in five carries the APOE-ε4 gene, which affects how cholesterol is utilized by neurons. This is a crucial function that helps you stay mentally strong.
And if you still think “cholesterol” is a dirty word, you need to get into the 21st century. The cholesterol theory of heart disease has been completely disproven.
Cholesterol is a key ingredient for the proper behavior of the brain’s neurons. When a person’s cholesterol use and metabolism malfunction, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease become much more likely. And possession of the APOE gene marker makes this misfortune more likely. Fish oils help reduce the risk.2
Omega-3s Help Neurons Perform Better
Scientists are learning more every day about how neurons in the brain form the networks that allow us to preserve memories. They’ve uncovered evidence that omega-3 fats help these neuronal connections perform at their optimum.
Here’s just one example: In lab tests at the Oregon Health & Science University, researchers analyzed how the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) plays a role in the brain to help neurons interpret what our eyes see. They found that higher levels of DHA in the diet lead to better connections in the neuronal pathways that are dedicated to conveying visual information.3
Many Other Benefits to Omega-3 Fats
As the studies on omega-3 fats accumulate, the benefits attached to these nutrients continue to mount. Researchers have now shown that omega-3 fats can also:
- Improve your nightly sleep: A study at the University of Oxford found that about four months of daily fish oil supplements containing 600 mg helps a person sleep better. The research found that, in younger people, the supplements lead to an extra hour of sleep every night (on average) and to significantly fewer episodes of wakefulness each night.4
- Help the brain clear out harmful proteins: A study in China5 demonstrates that omega-3 fats facilitate the activity of the brain’s glymphatic system, which has the job of cleaning neural networks and clearing waste products. This system eliminates amyloid-beta, the protein that damages neurons during Alzheimer’s disease.
- Increase life expectancy: A Swiss-Chinese review study shows that each one percent increase in omega-3 fats in the blood dropped the risk of dying during the research by 20%.6That’s an incredible finding.
- Lower the risk of depression: A study at the University of Amsterdam indicates that omega-3s help fight off depression and can improve the effects of antidepressants.7
The benefits of omega-3 fats are becoming too obvious to be denied. So taking fish oil supplements and eating fish regularly is a health strategy with many advantages. In fact, it’s a must.
I wish I could recommend a brand, but right now I’m “between brands” for this nutrient category. Our sister company, Green Valley, does not offer an omega-3 product because, in my opinion, it’s not an ideal thing to ship through the mail, especially during the summer heat. We’re looking for a way around that limitation. I recommend purchasing fish oil products in a store, preferably one that’s careful about how it handles perishable supplements.
For many years, I’ve taken Carlson’s Fish Oil – sold as a liquid rather than a pill or capsule – and I’ve been very happy with it. But over the past year I’ve run into several bottles that were clearly spoiled. It’s caused me to lose confidence in the product. So I’m trying to decide on next steps. . .