Fish oil has been an important part of our diet for thousands of years. It is full of numerous vitamins and minerals essential for maintaining optimal health, but that isn’t the only remarkable thing about it.
Recently, fish oil consumption has peaked due to its suspected nootropic effects. This has been attributed to the presence of two major fatty acids that enhance brain function, namely, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Together, these two fatty acids help to augment brain tissue and improve brain activity.
Taking fish oil is considered a reliable means for replacing EPA and DHA in one’s diet. Both fatty acids exist essentially as omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil. Coldwater fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel make great sources of fish oil.
The impressive functions of fish oil on the brain and general well-being are largely due to its EPA and DHA content. These omega-3 fatty acids make up a greater percentage of the brain fat. The brain itself is composed mainly of fat, without which there would be alterations in the brain’s cognitive and memory functions. Therefore, EPA and DHA play large roles in promoting brain activity.
The anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil are the basis for some of its valued impact on the brain. This has been related to a great deal of EPA in fish oil. It helps to prevent brain damage and degeneration due to aging and the buildup of free radicals.
This is primarily associated with the DHA found in fish oil. DHA forms about a quarter of the total fat contained in the brain and approximately 90 percent of omega-3 fatty acids in the brain.
For this reason, it consolidates the structure of the brain, which is important to normal functioning. Unlike EPA, DHA plays a major role in supporting brain functions, cognition, and thinking.
Much of our diet contains omega-6 fatty acids rather than omega-3 fatty acids. This is a major cause of inflammation in the body, especially when a person doesn’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids.
The body can’t produce its omega-3 fatty acids but relies on food sources to make up for the deficit. Maintaining the balance between these two fatty acid classes within the cells is an effective mechanism for preventing cognitive decline due to aging.
EPA and DHA contribute significantly to the protection of brain tissue. In supporting brain structure, DHA also performs neuroprotective functions. The brain’s combined effect slows down the onset of early stages of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Fish oil has powerful anti-inflammatory properties largely due to EPA present in the supplements. Inflammation usually results from the body’s immune response to infections, stress, and high sugar intake. DHA serves as a precursor to the formation of NPD1, an anti-inflammatory compound that doubles as a neuroprotective agent.
Aside from the anti-inflammatory effect of EPA mentioned earlier, it also causes blood vessels to open up for easy blood flow. When blood flow is improved, brain functions are boosted to very high degrees. This helps thinking, memory and relieving anxiety.
Experts suggest that since fish oil can boost brain circulation, it helps lower the risk of memory decline or even prevent it. Omega-3 fatty acids are possible memory boosters, perhaps due to dilation of blood vessels and increased oxygen supply.
Research on some medical students reveals that fish oil, taken in doses of about 2400 mg, could alleviate anxiety symptoms and remarkably boost one’s mood. Omega-3 fish oil supplements have been found helpful in relieving symptoms of depression in several studies.
Taking fish oil supplements is probably safe to a large extent unless for concerns around large dose intake. Large doses of fish oil might cause a reduction in immune functions in the body. There aren’t any serious side effects related to fish oil consumption in prescription and supplement forms.
Dietary sources of fish oil bring concerns as some people fear that it might contain mercury. However, sardine, mackerel, and cod liver oils appear to offer safer fish oil choices since the fish types aren’t predatorial. Researchers believe that most dietary fish oils don’t have toxic levels of mercury.
There isn’t a single universal dosage for fish oil supplements. It depends largely on what you aim to achieve from it. Most people take fish oil supplements due to the well-known health benefits. Well, if you aim to get the recommended daily intake of fish oil, you will be taking around 1-2 grams of it daily. For general well-being, some experts suggest 250 mg of fish oil as the minimum. Seek your doctor’s approval before you embark on any dosage formulations.
Fish oil makes a great choice for many nootropic lovers. It’s on the vanguard for highly studied and endorsed nootropics, safe and trusted by health experts. The American Heart Association recommends a 1-gram daily dosage of fish oil, for everybody, due to its numerous benefits.