Getting the message through about brain-specific fatty acids

brain-specific fatty acids
Photo credit: A Health Blog via Visual Hunt / CC – BY SA

One issue we keep returning to is that the human brain is made largely from fats. Not just any old fats, but brain-specific fatty acids derived from our diet.

It doesn’t get much more fundamental than this. Without those fats – specifically omega-3 DHA from fish and seafood – our brains can neither develop nor function properly. The current epidemic in mental health issues suggests that we have a world population undergoing nutritional crisis.

Research underlines these fears – but also shows us the way forward.

We’re Not Getting Enough!

Our friends at Food and Behaviour (FAB) Research have been keeping abreast of news and research concerning omega-3 fatty acids and health.

To cut to the chase, we are simply not getting enough omega-3. The general population fails, even with high awareness of the issues. Pregnant women, most worryingly, fall short of the recommended levels at he crucial time when their child’s brain is developing.

It appears that the unnecessarily complex guidelines on eating fish when pregnant is an underlying problem. The damage inflicted by years of warning women against eating seafood has taken its toll, and re-education on a colossal scale is needed to remedy that drastic error.

Mercury?

One of the issues underlying that highly unhelpful advice was the presence of mercury in seafood. Mercury contamination is a localised issue; besides which, new research suggest that benefits of fish consumption in pregnancy may outweigh mercury effects.

On more specific issues, research continues into the link between low omega-3 intake and childhood asthma. An article flagged by FAB, Fish oil or fish consumption? New recommendations for pregnant women trying to prevent childhood asthma addresses this.

Recent research has also investigated the role of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acid intake on lupus outcomes.

For more omega-3 related news stories, bookmark FAB’s list here.

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