Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help Clear “Brain Waste”
A study published in the online edition of The FASEB JOURNAL has revealed yet another reason why it is important for us to include omega-3 fatty acids in our diet. These essential polyunsaturated fatty acids which are found in fish oil appear to help clear out harmful waste products from the brain.
Mice enriched with omega-3s effectively clear metabolites
Research has already revealed that omega-3 fatty acids can be beneficial in many ways, including helping repair the brain after injury, shielding us against age-related mental decline and memory loss as we age, and allaying several psychiatric disorders. This study also shows that omega-3 fatty acids can improve how our glymphatic system (a system responsible for removing waste products like metabolites and peptides from the brain) does its job.
Researchers compared fat-1 mice that were enriched with omega-3s to wild-type mice who were not. The researchers found
- the mice enriched with omega-3s were able to remove brain waste products significantly better than the wild mice.
Some of the wild-type mice were then also given fish oil supplements which contained high levels of omega-3s. It was discovered that the clearance function of these mice also improved with the fish oil supplementation.
This study helps support the fact that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids go a long way in maintaining brain function and that this essential fatty acid might delay the onset of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, negate the effects of traumatic brain injury, help with sleep impairment, and more.
Note: It’s worth bearing in mind that the study offers limited applications as it yet to be observed in people. The mouse model of Omega 3 is a great helpful start to improve our knowledge of this nutrients role in our memory health.
The Heart Foundation recommends all Australians should aim to include 2–3serves of fish (including oily fish) per week as part of a heart healthy diet. This provides around 250–500 milligrams of marine-sourced omega-3s (EPA and DHA)per day. In addition, the Heart Foundation recommends that all Australians should aim for 1 gram of plant-sourced omega-3 (ALA) each day.
Don’t like fish? No problem!
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are abundant in fish. But the good news is that it is also available in a number of other sustainable and vegan-friendly sources as well.
Did you know that as few as seven walnuts contain over 2500 mg of omega-3s? That’s over 60% of the daily recommended value!
Walnuts are great for snacking on while on the go. You can also try adding chopped walnuts to your salads for some extra “crunch” to go along with your greens.
- Chia seeds
These tiny wonders are loaded with omega-3s, with 15 ml containing nearly 2500 mg. Naturally gluten-free and a rich source of protein and fibre, chia seeds offer additional heart health benefits like:
- Reducing LDL cholesterol
- Reducing triglycerides
- Preventing cardiac arrhythmias
Though tiny, chia seeds expand when they come in contact with fluids. Because of this, they will help you stay feeling full for longer after you have enjoyed a snack or meal.
Ground up or as an oil, flaxseeds are loaded with alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fat that is great for our health. Just 15 ml of this ground up seed delivers over 1500 mg of omega-3s, or 15 ml of oil can complete your daily recommended serving as it provides over 7000 mg.
Work with a Brisbane Occupational Therapist
At the Memory Health Clinic we help people achieve clarity on what they can do to reduce their personal risk for memory decline.
Sure we forget the keys now and then, but if you’ve noticed your memory health has changed and you’d like to do something about it
At the memory health clinic all allied health professionals are certified in the Norris Memory Health Protocols and tailor assessment, treatment and prevention programs to help you stay focused, mentally sharp and reduce your risk of memory loss as you age.
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https://www.heartfoundation.org.au has a valuable download on Omega 3 sources