Big Fat Brain

May 31, 2022 at 2:18 pm

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The human brain is an extraordinary organ. Part of an elaborate neurological network, the brain helps us interact with the world around us. It is important for processing information, generating and retaining memories,  expressing emotion, and coordinating daily processes within the human body that help us function on a daily basis.

It is made up of billions of nerve cells that interact with one another. It is this neural network that makes the brain the most complex human organ, especially since these connections are virtually unlimited. The capacity for the brain to learn and form new neuronal connections is not limited to a certain age and can continue throughout an individual’s lifetime, a concept known as neuroplasticity within the scientific community.  

The human brain weights approximately three pounds and is made up of 60 percent fat, making it is fattiest organ within the human body. So, having a fatty brain is critical to brain health. Fatty acids are among the most crucial molecules that determine the brains ability to perform optimally. However, the type of fatty acid is important because not all fatty acids are the same. Omega-6 fatty acids are abundantly available in the human diet, primarily because the consumption of oils derived from soybean, corn and safflower have become overwhelmingly popular. These fatty acids have not shown to offer much benefit to brain health. In contrast, Omega-3 oils which naturally occur in fatty fish, algae and some nuts and seeds offer numerous benefits to the human brain. Unfortunately, Omega-3 fatty acids are not nearly consumed in adequate amounts on a daily basis, resulting in an excess of Omega-6 fatty acids and a relative deficiency of Omega-3. This imbalance can impact neurological development, nerve cell interactions and influence various aspects of health.  

Omega-3 fatty acids have demonstrated to reduce inflammation, benefit mood, improve cardiovascular health outcomes and even support the brain. The natural anti-inflammatory effects and fatty oil composition of the Omega-3 oil makes it one of the best nutrients for the brain and most neurological health concerns including Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, concussions, depression, anxiety and ADHD. Omega-3 fatty acids are currently being studied for their supportive effects of brain health across the lifespan, benefiting individuals even if they do not have a particular neurological condition.

Omega-3 fatty acids and brain health benefits:

  • Reduces inflammation within the brain and nervous system
  • Helps support cognition, learning and thinking
  • Protective against cognitive decline
  • Helps to maintain and enhance memory
  • Plays a role in mood, particularly depression, bipolar disease and anxiety

Research continues to study the beneficial effects of Omega-3 fatty acids throughout the human body, but one thing for sure is Omega-3 fatty acids certainly contribute to healthy brain function.

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