They could be lurking in any one of our brains right now. And while these silent brain assassins are small and painless, they can lead to BIG damage.
Brain infarcts are lesions that form in your brain which are linked to worsening memory, dementia and—in the worst case scenarios—even stroke.
And while NONE of us are safe from these mind scramblers, if you’re a healthy senior you have around a 20 percent chance of having these brain lesions hiding in your head right now.
But don’t panic, nature has already provided us with a simple memory-saving solution that could slash your risk for brain infarcts and other brain defects. And it will literally only cost you pennies a day.
More on those brain infarcts in just a moment, but first let’s look at the link between omega 3s and brain volume.
Fight memory loss with this fatty acid
It turns out omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in abundance in fatty fish and fish-oil supplements, could be the key to hanging on to your precious memories and reducing your stoke risk at the same time.
You see having low levels of omega-3s can be like hitting the fast forward button on your brain, causing it to essentially age faster. As we age our brains naturally start to shrink, there’s no getting around that.
But a brain that’s denied enough omega-3s… and the brain-friendly nutrients DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) found in those fatty acids… can start to shrink too fast.
It’s kind of like forcing a weight-lifting athlete to suddenly eat a cat-walking supermodel’s diet… let’s just say the results aren’t pretty.
Slow down your brain shrink with omega-3s
In one shocking study volunteers with the lowest omega-3 levels had brains that looked around TWO years older than their peers with the highest levels of the fatty acids. And the consequences of that shrink showed up in tests.
The omega-3-deprived folks with the smaller brains couldn’t keep up on tests that checked their problem-solving abilities, visual memory, abstract thinking or ability to multi-task.
But helping you beef up your brain isn’t the only thing omega-3s can do for you. Let’s get back to those frightening stroke-linked brain infarcts.
It turns out that omega-3s can slash your risk for those lurking lesions too.
Slash your risk of dangerous brain lesions up to 40%!
Researchers say loading up on fatty acids could radically lower your risk for all kinds of brain abnormalities, including those troubling brain lesions.
In fact, your risk could plummet according to one exciting study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland. Volunteers 65 and older were given a brain scan to detect silent brain infarcts.
After five years 2,313 of the volunteers returned for a second scan and what the researchers saw blew them away. The folks with the highest omega-3 fatty acid levels had an astounding 40 percent lower risk of having developed brain infarcts than their peers with basement -ow levels of the fatty acids.
The message couldn’t be more crystal clear here… don’t skip out on your omega-3!
You can start boosting your levels of this vital “fat from the sea” by eating more fatty fish including salmon, sardines and halibut.
Not a fish fan? Don’t worry, walnuts, flax seeds and chia seeds are also rich in omega-3s. But consider adding in a fish oil supplement to round out your EPA and DHA levels. (Toss in a quality vitamin E to combat freed radicals while you’re at it.)
And if you need a little more incentive don’t forget that omega-3s can help douse the kind of damaging inflammation that’s linked to other devastating diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes and heart disease.
Neurology. 2012 Feb 28; 78(9): 658–664
J Am Heart Assoc.2013; 2: e000305
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