Omega 3's for brain food health is brand new information to me. I worry about eating fish, because of the mercury pollution, and overfishing, plus it is not my favorite food. Some sources say that only wild salmon is a good supplier of DHA, that farmed salmon are artificially colored, grown in unsanitary conditions, and not fed well, so they do not supply DHA in regular quantity.
However, I did not know that the Omega-3's in flax seed did not supply this particular kind of Omega-3 apparently really necessary for brain and eye health. I was looking at some of the dietary sources for DHA and it looks like supplements will be my best bet, although one time I did try fish oil supplements, and I burped fish oil breath, and had fish oil taste in my mouth.
But I was 48 then, and now I am 60.
Random Thoughts from a brain lacking fish oil.
Do I get some slack for being 60 and having fishy breath? If I eat fishy supplements, will the cats like me better?
Susan Brink Los Angeles Times Saturday January 5, 2008
Studies on rodents and people suggest that a diet rich in DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil, helps delay or prevent Alzheimer's disease. Now University of California, Los Angeles researchers have come up with a possible explanation.
A team led by Greg Cole, professor of neurology at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, has concluded that the DHA protection has to do with a key brain protein called LR11, which helps destroy the toxic plaques that lead to Alzheimer's. Scientists know the brains of deceased Alzheimer's patients contain lower-than-normal levels of LR11 and have wondered if increasing the LR11 levels could help delay or prevent the disease.
So Cole's team added DHA to the diets of rodents who had been altered genetically to develop an Alzheimer's-like disease. The DHA, indeed, increased brain levels of LR11. The scientists also exposed human brain cells to DHA in Petri dishes and found it increased the amount of the protective protein inside the cells.
Increasing consumption of DHA, which has been shown to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, also might reduce risk for Alzheimer's, Cole says. Added omega-3s are found in some eggs and dairy products. And, of course, people can eat more fish or talk to a physician about adding a fish oil supplement or one with DHA derived from algae to their diets."
The following information is from the DHA/Omega-3 Institute, and is free of solicitations, but the site is sponsored by some folks selling stuff, so go take a look at the videos, and decide for yourself if it is objective. Introduction to Omega-3
"There has been a dramatic surge in interest recently, amongst the public and health professionals alike, of the health effects of omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish/fish oils - consisting of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) plus eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
DHA is required in high levels in the brain and retina as a physiologically-essential nutrient to provide for optimal neuronal functioning (learning ability, mental development) and visual acuity, in young and old alike.
DHA plus EPA are both considered to have beneficial effects in the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease plus associated risk factors as well as other chronic disorders.
Whereas considerable amounts of the plant-derived omega-3 fatty acid known as a-linolenic acid (ALA) is consumed daily in North America (approximately 2 g/day), the physiologically-essential nutrient, DHA, is consumed at much smaller levels (approximately 80 mg/day) while EPA is consumed at the level of approximately 50 mg/day in a typical North American diet.
DHA plus EPA are absent from plant food sources rich in ALA (such as flax, canola oil, and walnuts). Since the metabolic conversion of ALA to DHA/EPA (combined) by metabolism is very limited in humans, the most direct way of providing DHA plus EPA for the body is via their direct consumption. Current intakes of DHA are approximately 20% of the target (300 mg/day) suggested by an expert scientific group during pregnancy and lactation.
The extremely low intake of DHA in young children (e.g., approximately 19 mg DHA/day on average for 3-yr. olds in North America ) is also of particular concern.
Current intakes of DHA/EPA (combined) of 130 mg/day are approximately 15% of the target (900 mg/day) officially recommended by the American Heart Association for those with coronary heart disease and 20% of the 650 mg/day advised by an expert scientific group for healthy individuals.
In view of the widespread reluctance of the public to consume sufficient amounts of fish, functional foods containing DHA plus EPA will become increasingly important sources of these important nutrients in the coming years to support optimal brain/visual performance, for cardio care, and other health conditions for young and old alike."
So over the years, science is proving right what moms have known for centuries, if not millenia, that you ought to eat your fish,... wonder if castor oil has DHA in it?
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