Fish Oil Can Make Your Brain Bigger -- And You, Age More Slowly

I stopped taking fish oil -- and all other vitamins -- a couple of months ago, after hearing no one knows what goes into them, as they're not regulated.  But maybe I stopped too soon.  A new study has found that fish oil can help preserve brain cells.  And I've been missing some for some time.

People with higher levels of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may also have larger brain volumes in old age equivalent to preserving one to two years of brain health,according to  Shrinking brain volume is a sign of Alzheimer’s disease as well as normal aging.

But the goods news is that “These higher levels of fatty acids can be achieved through diet and the use of supplements, and the results suggest that the effect on brain volume is the equivalent of delaying the normal loss of brain cells that comes with aging by one to two years,” said study author James V. Pottala, PhD, of the University of South Dakota in Sioux Falls and Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc., in Richmond, Va.

Those with higher levels of omega-3s had a 2.7 percent larger volume in the hippocampus area of the brain, which plays an important role in memory. In Alzheimer’s disease, the hippocampus begins to atrophy even before symptoms appear, the study found.

So I'm going back to the fish oil.  Maybe it will help me remember where my keys are, or that I left them in the jacket I wear jogging, and they're now, electronics and all, in the wash.


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