Fish Oil Is A Super Brain Food But Are Manufactures Poisoning You?


Fish oil is a super brain food but are manufactures poisoning you?

The belief that “fish is brain food”, has been held around the world for well over two thousand years. Fish supplies omega-3 oils, and among them is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), essential for brain and eye tissue development (specifically the retina) in infants; it remains fundamental to those tissues throughout life. Current research focuses on these oils—often woefully short, if not deficient, in modern diets—as one cause of attention deficit disorder.

The brain is 60 percent fat and the omega-3 fatty acid known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an important ingredient for optimal brain function. There’s a reason why fish is known as brain food. It is a rich source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a fatty acid that is found in high concentration in the gray matter of the brain. DHA is instrumental in the function of brain cell membranes, which are important for the transmission of brain signals.  By making cell membranes more fluid, omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA, improve communication between the brain cell.  As a result, lack of omega-3 in the body can cause a communication breakdown in the brain, which is probably the last place you’d want such a breakdown to happen.

While omega-3s were abundant in our diets before the 20th century, they are now seriously lacking. Just like a machine, your brain needs oil — in the form of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids — to run smoothly. Unfortunately, the average diet doesn’t usually contain the right balance of these fatty acids. If you eat a typical modern diet, you probably get plenty of omega-6 through corn, soybean, and other oils in processed food. But omega-3 oils, which are just as important, are often missing.

It may not be surprising that most red-meat-loving Americans do not get a lot a fish int heir diets, and therefore are not getting enough brain-boosting omega-3. Unfortunately, since DHA is crucial in fetal brain development, that lack of omega-3 could be putting us at a mental disadvantage before we are even born.

During pregnancy, omega-3 fatty acids are conveyed from the mother’s blood to the developing fetus by way of the placenta.  They are vital for the development of the brain and retina membranes of the fetus. Thus, the amount of DHA the baby receives depends on the mother’s dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids.  Depending on Mom’s diet, then, a child’s brain could be starved for omega-3 before it has any say in the matter, and research shows this could actually have a significant impact on intelligence and vision.

Several recent studies, conducted in both animals and humans, have shown that babies who receive adequate amounts of this vital fat have better functioning brains and higher IQs.  Those with low amounts of DHA demonstrate learning difficulties and visual problems.

Omega-3 fatty acids continue to be essential to infant brain development after birth, and research shows babies who are breast fed receive higher levels of the important fatty acid than those fed formula, since baby formula in the United States is not required to contain any omega-3 at all.

The implications of omega-3 deficiency on the brain are profound and span the entire human life cycle. Beginning in pregnancy, premature birth and its potential neurologic complications may result from omega-3 deficiency. Babies who are bottle-fed or born from omega-3-deficient mothers will lack the omega-3 fatty acids necessary for optimal cognitive and visual development. Children deprived of omega-3s may have less ability to pay attention and control impulsive behavior and may be at higher risk for depression. Teenagers and adults with omega-3 deficiency may be more prone to hostility or violence. In aging, the loss of omega-3 fatty acids in the brain may result in a higher risk of stroke, memory problems, or dementia. Individuals of any age without adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in the brain and body may also be at higher risk for depression, bipolar disorder, and possibly other psychiatric disorders.

The fish richest in this oil are cold water fish such as salmon, halibut, albacore tuna, mackerel, sardines, eel, herring, striped bass, and rainbow trout. For people who don’t like fish, omega-3 fatty acids are also available in some plant foods, like flaxseed and walnuts, but they are not as potent in these forms. Fish remains the best source of omega-3s, and diets lacking in the essential fatty acids may need supplements.  For optimal brain function, you should consider taking supplements of fish oils or flaxseed oil.

Fish oil has become an increasingly popular supplement because it has high levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.  But, buyer beware.  An environmental group filed a lawsuit in San Francisco recently alleging that 10 types of fish oil or shark oil supplements contain a toxic industrial compound, and that manufacturers and sellers need to warn consumers.  The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, claims the makers and sellers of fish oil supplements are required to tell consumers that the pills contain the compound polychlorinated biphenyl, or PCB.

PCBs were once used to insulate transformers and capacitors, but were banned more than 30 years ago. They are still found in San Francisco Bay and other waterways, where they are consumed by fish.  PCBs can cause cancer, reproductive problems and damage to the nervous system.

The lawsuit names CVS/Pharmacy, General Nutrition Corp. (GNC stores), Now Health Group, Omega Protein, Rite Aid, Solgar, Twinlab and Pharmavite, which produces Nature Made supplements, as defendants.  Representative of those companies said they wouldn’t comment because they hadn’t seen the lawsuit.

As is obvious from  reading the above info, if you are going to supplement, (we highly recommend that you do) YOU MUST KNOW THE COMPANY BEHIND THE PRODUCTS YOU CHOOSE! The Universal Key group highly recommends OmegaGuard Ultra-Pure, Pharmaceutical-Grade Fish Oil, by Shaklee.  It is superior because it is made with a proprietary multistep molecular distillation process that helps remove lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, dioxins, PCBs, and other contaminants.  There are no artificial colors, flavors, or preser­vatives.  The fish oil in OmegaGuard also delivers all seven omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA and is certified by Friend of the Sea, an international conservation organization, under strict criteria for sustainability, including full traceability in every phase of the process.

So, if you are fish deficient, it’s time to wise up. After all, if eating more fish oil can help keep your brain sharp and help your children do better in school, why not?  When everyone feels better physically and emotionally, it makes for a happier home, community and world.  It seems like a smart choice to make.


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