Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More

The Benefits of Omega 3’s On the Brain: Can Fish Oil Help Depression?

what’s up guys it’s Bayan from mental health nation I’m a fourth year medical student and the future psychiatrist and this video it’s about omega-3 fatty acids or as most people call it fish oil so I’ve been personally taking these supplements for about ten years now so I do have you know some personal use of what I’m going to say the heck are omega threes probably heard about them well first of all they’re in every cell in the body they primarily in the cell membranes of every cell so the cell membranes what covers cells is what allows things to come in and out of the cell and a lot of the organelles that are inside of the cell like the mitochondria which are the energy factories of the cell also has brains and omega-3 fats can also make up some of that composition as well this video will primarily focus on the connection with omega-3 fats and the brain since the brain is constantly restructuring and you want to optimize you know your brain health as much as possible I think it’s really important to stack up on the omega-3s and this is because the brain is actually made of 60% fat believe it or not different kinds of fats and the cell membranes in particular are made of 25% omega-3 fat brain will actually preferentially extract omega-3 fats from the bloodstream over other kinds of fats and for anything I’m going to say in this video if you me to reference any of the studies that let me know just post the comment and so we’ll dive a little bit into everything so the brain is a very vast subject and they can affect many different areas so in this video we’ll talk about some of the correlations between omega-3 fats and things like depression schizophrenia brain development Emory ADHD and just overall brain health so what the heck does omega-3 even mean Omega just means last and the three refers to the chemical composition of the molecule these fatty acids so the third carbon from the end will have a double bond there’s three types of omega-3 fats okay there’s DHA and EPA which are kind of the animal based omega-3 fats which a lot of the good stuff that we’re going to talk about are based on well that would be things like fish and krill and there’s also ala which is more of a plant-based omega-3 fish and plant sources would be like walnut chia seeds hemp seeds and flax seeds what’s interesting is that this a la the plant source of omega-3 can actually convert into DHA and EPA in the body the problem is diseases an enzyme Delta six saturates and as we age this enzyme actually dampens and decreases you can also decrease with influence one of the reasons why I think a lot of experts recommend taking some animal-based omega-3s especially as you get older just in general omega-3s have been more associated with being anti-inflammatory will say why soon while omega sixes which is a different kind of fad that is much more prevalent in the American diet right now have been more associated with inflammation so it’s in thought that you need a ratio of these two fatty acids for optimal health especially optimal cell membrane health and that ratio kind of depends on who you ask but it can go from anywhere from say four so one and I’ve seen numbers as high as one to one and the typical American diet today is actually a ratio of 20 to one so 20 times as much omega-6 fatty acids in the diet then omega-3s the inflammation is essentially the cornerstone to many many major diseases so you can see how a diet with too much omega-6 is in too low omega-3s can promote a pro-inflammatory state so just jumping to some areas that I’ve read the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that low levels that EPA and DHA has been associated with an increased risk of death from all causes and cognitive decline another studies showed that children took more omega-3s as infants ended up scoring higher an intelligent test between the age of 3 to 5 another study showed that people with ADHD are more likely to have low on mega three levels the European Food and Safety Authority has shown that omega-3s can be beneficial in the development of the brain and the retina and those who study on memory that took 485 elderly people had memory deficits who saw a improvement in their memory after six months of taking these Omega threes so as you can see there’s a lot of potential benefits from the supplement it is actually a supplement okay it’s not meant to replace any kind of therapy definitely our studies that don’t show these benefits but since it’s such a low-risk supplement I feel like raising the awareness and of course before taking any of these or starting any kind of supplement or anything should always talk to your primary care provider aka your doctor so why these omega-3s seem to be beneficial particularly for the brain is because without these omega-3s the nerves can actually get stiff and when they get stiff they’re more prone to inflammation this is thought to be when omega-3s are replaced with things like omega sixes and cholesterol so you may be asking why these omega-3 fatty acids are known to be anti-inflammatory well there’s many many reasons I was actually curious myself so I’ve dug into it number one it helps membrane fluidity number two it decreases over activation of the microglia which are different types of cells in your brain that when out of balance can actually be pro-inflammatory as well they can turn off genes that promote inflammation it increases the levels of an antioxidant called superoxide dismutase and because mitochondria are also involved in some brains it can improve the functioning of your mitochondria which are which can make your brain cells more likely to resist any kind of damage particularly the damage from excitotoxins which so one of the main the kind of illnesses that omega-3 supplementation has potentially shown some benefit for is depression so this shouldn’t be a great surprise right because depression is usually linked to the brain and omega-3 fatty acids optimize or help optimize brain health so obviously if you have no brain health you’re less likely to get any kind of disorder with the brain so in this case with depression in particular Omega threes have been shown to enhance the sensitivity of serotonin receptors so one of the causes potentially of depression is thought to be a decrease in serotonin so mega threes just increase the sensitivity to the same molecule Japanese eat a lot of fish in their diet so that’s thought to be one of the reasons why depression rates are low end of Japan even though places in Japan can be very overcrowded and stressful in northern Finland a study of women who worm 260 times more likely to be depressed if they ate a diet low in fish so a lot of the benefits of omega-3s potential hazards and antidepressant properties comes down to the EPA type of omega-3 this is thought to be due to EPA lowering the levels of three types of molecules in the brain and these are tumor necrosis alpha interleukin-1 beta and prostaglandin e2 we’ve ever felt kind of down and depressed too when you’re sick such as getting the flu it’s thought to be due to these same immune chemicals in omega threes have also been shown to increase dopamine levels in some parts of the brain so dopamine is often known as the feel-good chemical and is known to be involved in motivation scores schizophrenia is concerned current psychiatry reported that there’s a strong correlation between high fish consumption and positive outcomes in schizophrenia and Omega threes may also play a role in the onset of schizophrenia as well so what can you do yourself to boost your own health or boot you know one of your friends or your family members health as far as these Omega threes are concerned so first of all animal sources are going to be preferred over plant sources in terms of getting these omega-3s from your diet and like fish and krill the main drawback fish could potentially have some heavy metals like mercury arsenic lead cadmium and PCBs if you were to eat fish anyway I would recommend eating wild caught Alaskan salmon that’d probably be your best option or any kind of small fish like sardines I would avoid bigger fish like swordfish and tuna since these are kind of higher up on the eating chain they accumulate more heavy metals kind of as you go up as the fish get bigger you can also supplement with fish oil official I think is a great option the only downside is it highly perishable like a three fatty acids because they’re a polyunsaturated fatty acids they’re not very stable any kind of heat so if you were to get any kind of fish oil supplements I recommend storing them in your fridge and potentially taking them with an antioxidant like vitamin E to provide acidity will oil in my it’s probably the best option you have krill oil naturally areas in antioxidant called astaxanthin in it gives them in the red color and it’s you know one of the most powerful carotenoids the type of antioxidant so it helps prevent rancidity krill oil also comes with phospholipids at attached to the fatty acids so phospholipids will silicate the transportation of these fatty acids directly to your cell membrane the number i’ve seen to work is about two capsules of 500 milligrams a day of krill oil but again if you’re going to take any supplement definitely consult with your doctor or doing so so i hope you guys found this helpful if you have any questions at all just post them below please like this video if you found it helpful and i’ll catch you guys next time peace

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