Many of us feel like we used to be smarter and quicker at making decisions. At 52, I feel like my brain is still fairly sharp, but certainly not like it was at 30!
Let me ask you some personal questions:
Do you forget things easily?
Do you often get derailed from a task or distracted by sounds and noises?
What about your IQ?
When my now 24-year old son was just 9, a doctor thought he had ADHD, and I came this close to putting him on a stimulant. Instead, I chose to try supplementing his diet with fish oils high in DHA. He turned out to be naturally brilliant without any of those prescribed stimulants.
I’m not trying to alarm you about medications, but you should be informed so you can choose the best option for yourself and your loved ones. DHA fish oils are known to support a healthy brain and attention span in all people, young and old.
Studies involving children and teenagers with low levels of DHA showed that they, not surprisingly, had poor reading scores as well as behavioral problems. Could these children benefit from Omega-3 supplementation? Low DHA in children aged 7 through 9 were associated with reading and comprehension that was below average, as well as behavioral issues. Why aren’t physicians considering DHA supplementation as a first-line treatment? Probably because the pharmaceutical salespeople who visit their office aren’t hyping DHA up!
Some studies point to DHA supplementation as a method of increasing overall intelligence as children grow. Can you imagine?! They based this finding on kids between the ages of 3 and 5 years old who had received Omega-3 fat supplements as infants. Those kids outscored children who were in the placebo group who did not get the omega fats. By “outscored” I mean they had better results across the board on both vocabulary and intelligence tests.
Omega-3 fatty acids seem to boost and balance your brain function. We’re all fatheads, after all, and we need good fats for our brain, which consists of lipophilic cells.
That’s right, about 60% or more of your brain material is comprised of fat! Of the total fat, DHA makes up approximately 20% of your brain’s cerebral cortex. That’s the part of your brain that helps you think, learn a language, correctly perceive things, reason and comprehend. It is involved in voluntary movement so when you think “I need to pick up that pen”, your arm automatically does that for you, compliments of your cerebral cortex.
DHA plays an undeniable role for your cerebral cortex and your nerves. It’s found in unusually high levels in your neurons (the cells of your brain and spinal cord). That’s why patients with a TBI (traumatic brain injury) are told to take Omega-3 fatty acids that are high in DHA content. When you combine DHA fish oil with vitamin D or the calming mineral magnesium, the result can be even more astonishing, especially if you have other signs of cognitive decline such as memory loss, “senior moments” and problems making decisions.
So I encourage you to talk to your doctor about DHA supplementation, no matter your age or level of cognitive decline or attention span. You might just find that all your brain needed was a little more fat!
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.