Someday, it might be considered a compliment when someone calls you a “fish brain”. Why? Well, a growing number of studies are showing a strong correlation between the intake of omega-3 fish oil, DHA, and overall brain development.(1)
Infants and Adults Need DHA
In infants, brain development is most rapid during the last trimester of pregnancy and the first two years after birth.(2) During this period the child’s eventual brain and nerve development is highly dependent on its food intake of essential nutrients, especially omega-3 oils.(3)
But DHA is not just for infants. Adults need DHA just as much to rebuild and maintain our mental abilities. While most people have heard that fish oil, especially the two big omega-3s (EPA and DHA) have a remarkable healing ability. However, for your mental abilities, new evidence says that DHA is the one you really need.
DHA Helps Prevent Your Brain
From Shrinking As You Get Older!
Not only that, but it also helps increase brain’s gray matter – especially the part associated with happiness. DHA nourishes the part of your brain that makes you feel happy and at peace with the world.
Research is Agreeing That DHA:
1. Encourages Free-Flowing Circulation. DHA helps open tiny blood capillaries that carry oxygen deep into your heart and brain.(4)
2. Boosts Memory and Brain Power. People with high levels of DHA have a 47% lower risk of memory and brain concerns.(5)
3. Helps Brain Neurons Fire Fast and Accurately. This helps your brain to maintain quick thinking, helping foggy memory, loss of focus and keeping brain cells alive.(6)
4. Improves Visual Memory and Thinking. The famous Framingham Study shows that people with lower DHA levels also have smaller brains and do worse on tests of visual memory and thinking.(7)
5. Grow New “Neural Networks. DHA is also the main nutrient that helps your brain grow new “neural networks,” to rejuvenate itself helping you keep your brain thinking sharp.(8)
As a bonus, DHA:
6. Helps Keep Your HDL High and Triglycerides Low. It is fish oil DHA that helps raise HDL, and keep blood fats low.(9)
7. Affects Good Eyesight and Retinas. People with high DHA levels were 40% to 50% less likely to have macular vision issues.(10)
8. Helps Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels: About 70% of people with blood sugar problems had dramatic improvements in response to insulin.(11)
9. Better Joint Comfort: People had their joint pain scores drop by more than 20%.(12)
Is it any wonder that we wanted DHA in our IN-Focus formula?
What about Fish Oil and Other Sources
In a sentence, they are good for us – but also have limitations.
It is a good reminder that DHA is also an essential nutrient your body needs every day. “Essential” means your body is not able to make enough of by itself. This means that, for better mental health, it needs to be supplemented in our diet. This is why we want to include it in our In-Focus supplement! But why don’t we just add a fish oil capsule?
Fish oil, of course, is wonderful – but many people are not aware that it is not easily absorbed. Yes, we do get some of the value but a lot of the DHA never gets to your cells.
Krill oil may work better than regular fish oil since some studies show it absorbs a little better and may better penetrate cells in your body, including your brain cells.(13) In fact, some people taking krill oil have had their omega-3s soar over 150%.(14) However, if you’re relying on fish or krill oil for DHA, you may not getting nearly enough. This is because your body needs a much higher ratio of DHA to EPA.
Calamari (squid) oil may be the best form of fish oil to take if a person really wanted to load up. You’ll find a clue in Mother’s milk because it has 4 times as much DHA than EPA in it. It is a good assumption that nature designed it that way because DHA is the real source of mental health! If so, Calamari (squid) oil may be the best source of DHA on Earth since it has close to that perfect 4/1 ratio of DHA to EPA that we mentioned.(15)
I have used all three forms in my life but it is less commonly needed now – and it is calamari oil when I do. Our IN-Focus brain supplement not only provides a direct source of DHA, but several other brain nutrients that work together as a whole. It also help me avoid some of the heavy metal and spoilage problems of fish oil.
1. Enslen M, Milon H, Malnoe A. Effect of low intake of omega-3 fatty acids during development on brain phospholipid fatty acid composition and exploratory behavior in rats. Lipids. 1991 Mar;26(3):203-8.
2. Birch EE, Garfield S, Castaneda Y, et al. Visual acuity and cognitive outcomes at 4 years of age in a double-blind,
randomized trial of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid-supplemented infant formula. Early Hum Dev. 2007 May;83(5):279-84.
3. Willatts P, Forsyth JS, DiModugno MK, Varma S, Colvin M. Effect of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids
in infant formula on problem solving at 10 months of age. Lancet. 1998 Aug 29;352(9129):688-91.
4. Mori TA, et al. Circulation 2000; 102(11):1264-69. circ.ahajournals.org/content/102/11/1264.full
5. Pharma Marine info sheet, p.1.
6. Deutsch L. Evaluation of the effect of Neptune Krill Oil on chronic inflammation and arthritic symptoms. J Am Coll Nutr. 2007 Feb;26(1):39-48.
7. Bazan N, Musto A, Knott E. “Endogenous signaling by omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid-derived mediators sustains homeostatic synaptic and circuitry integrity.” Mol Neurobiol. 2011;44(2):216-22.
8. Tan Z, Harris W, Beiser A, Au R, Himali J, Debette S, Pikula A, Decarli C, Wolf P, Vasan R, Robins S, Seshadri S. “Red blood cell ω-3 fatty acid levels and markers of accelerated brain aging.” Neurology. 2012;78(9):658-64.
9. The Influence of lutein and docosahexaenoic acid on serum, lipoproteins, and macular pigmentation. Am J Clin Nutr 2008 May; 87(5):1521-9.
10. Schaefer EJ, et al. Arch Neurol 2006;63(11):1545-50 archneur.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/63/11/1545
12. Fish Oil Supplements Guide, Environmental Defense Fund, 2009. apps.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=16536
13. Maki K, Reeves M, Farmer M, Griinari M, Berge K, Vik H, Hubacher R, Rains T. “Krill oil supplementation increases plasma concentrations of EPA and DHA in overweight and obese men and women.” Nutr Res. 2009;29(9):609-15.
14. Hwang L, Liang J. “Fractionation of urea-pretreated squid visceral oil ethyl esters.” Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society 2001, Volume 78, Issue 5, pp 473-476.
15. Cao D, Kevala K, Kim J, Moon H, Jun S, Lovinger D, Kim H. “Docosahexaenoic acid promotes hippocampal neuronal development and synaptic function.” J Neurochem. 2009;111(2):510-21.