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Take This Supplement to Boost Your Brain Health

Take This Supplement to Boost Your Brain Health

“To catch a fish, think like a fish.” That’s an aphorism repeated over and over in NY Times opinion pieces, YouTube videos and online seminars for entrepreneurs. We’d say: "To think (better), catch some fish oil (DHA omega-3)!"

A lab study in Scientific Reports found taking supplements of DHA, the omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil (and algal oil—algae is where the fish get it from!) and synthesized from ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) from foods such as walnuts and flaxseed, boosts production of estrogen in the brain. Yes, guys, it’s essential, and since you only convert 2 percent of ALA into DHA, getting plenty is vital.

Estrogen is important for brain health: It helps reduce nerve damage from stroke and protects the brain from environmental toxins such as methyl mercury. And an estrogen imbalance in the brain is linked to changes that contribute to Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, depression and some autoimmune disorders.

The benefits of DHA
Studies show (inconclusively, says the National Institute for Complementary and Integrative Medicine) that fish oil decreases tumor cell proliferation. We know it reduces the effects of hypertension, arthritis, atherosclerosis, depression, diabetes, myocardial infarction and the risk of blood clots. Plus, in a randomized study, people who took 900mg of DHA omega-3 daily for 28 weeks had improved learning and memory function. We say their brain age was six years younger!

So, take 900mg DHA algal oil daily, unless you’re on a blood thinner—then check with your doc and stick with salmon and ocean trout.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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