Food for thought…these are some of the reasons I’m so passionate about clean fish oil for everyone…
Study #1: Higher blood levels of omega-3s linked to better mental performance
Researchers at the Netherlands’ Maastricht University examined the fatty acid levels in 807 people aged 50 to 70, both at the beginning and the end of a three year period (Dullemeijer C et al 2007).
Likewise, the participants’ mental acuity was determined at the beginning and end of the three-year period, using standard tests of memory, word fluency, and brain speed.
The Dutch team found that people with the highest blood levels of omega-3s enjoyed 69 percent less decline in sensorimotor speed (reaction time) and 60 percent less decline in overall brain speed, compared to those with the lowest omega-3 levels.
No associations were observed between omega-3 levels and the outcomes of tests gauging memory, information-processing speed, or word fluency.
Study #2: Higher omega-3 EPA levels, lower omega-6 levels, enhance well-being
This study, conducted at New Zealand’s University of Otago, looked for links between blood levels of omega-3s and participants’ self-assessment of their mental and physical well-being (Crowe FL et al 2007).
The study involved 2,416 people who had completed health questionnaires and provided blood samples as part of New Zealand’s 1997 National Nutrition Survey.
The “kiwi” scientists found that the subjects who had the highest proportions of EPA – one of the two major omega-3s in fish and fish oil – reported the highest levels of physical well-being.
And those who had the highest ratios of EPA to omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA) reported higher levels of mental well-being.
Why would higher levels of omega-3 EPA and lower levels of omega-6 AA enhance overall health?
Chronic inflammation undermines physical and mental health, and omega-3 EPA exerts an anti-inflammatory influence in the body, while an overabundance of omega-6 AA promotes chronic inflammation.
As the researchers put it, “The association between [EPA levels], the ratio of EPA to AA, and better self-reported physical well-being … has strong biological plausibility and warrants further investigation.” (Crowe FL et al 2007)