When I was a kid, I was under the impression that my brain had a mind of its own.
You see, whenever my mother served us fish, she would say, “Eat up; fish is brain food.”
At the tender age of 4 I really wasn’t at all sure that I liked fish all that much. But I figured that since my brain apparently demanded it who was I to argue.
Luckily, I soon grew to love fish every bit as much as my brain ever did.
And that’s a good thing since a study conducted by researchers from University Laval in Quebec City concluded that my love of fish may be just the thing my old friend… the brain… needs to be shielded from the damaging effects from a stroke.
We already know that the omega-3 fatty acid DHA… found in fish oil… has the ability to quell certain kinds of inflammation in the body. The team from Laval, suspecting that DHA’s natural anti-inflammatory abilities might extend to the brain, wondered what kind of effect it would have on the damage that’s seen in the brain following a stroke.
Omega 3s linked to 25% LESS brain damage from a stroke
They found that a group of mice fed a diet enriched with DHA-type omega-3 daily for three months had 25 percent less brain damage following a stroke than did a control group of mice that had been fed plain ole mouse chow.
It turns out that the omega-3s protect the delicate brain tissues in a very unique way… by warding off the inflammation that is at the heart of stroke damage.
The DHA literally substitutes itself for some of the damaging omega-6 fatty acids in the brain. By eliminating some of the omega-6s, it also eliminates some of the harmful inflammation that goes with it… essentially helping to stroke-proof your brain
Now you may recall that this isn’t the first time I’ve written about the powerful effects that DHA can have on stroke damage. I wrote before about another exciting animal study, which found that rats treated with intravenous DHA following a stroke had reduced swelling, reduced neurological deficits, and better overall neurobehavioral recovery than did untreated rats.
Brain tissue damage after a stroke reduced 59%!
The results of those experiments were quite dramatic—finding that the area of damaged brain tissue in the DHA-treated rats was reduced by an average of 59 percent five hours after the stroke. And now these new findings have demonstrated that supplementing with omega-3s before a stroke can keep some of what would otherwise be the remaining damage from ever occurring in the first place.
DHA is both inexpensive and easy to incorporate into your diet.
You can start by adding more fish dishes to your weekly menu. Shoot for two to three meals a week. Just be sure to opt for wild-caught coldwater fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines whenever possible.
And if you’re not a fish fan, or you find that facing fish more than once a week is simply too much for you, you can always try a quality fish-oil supplement instead.
For a couple of useful tips on choosing one, be sure to read A Fishy Breakthrough in Stroke Recovery.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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