Why DHA & EPA Are Essential For Your Brain to Function Optimally

It has been scientifically demonstrated that your brain needs specific types of essential omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), to function optimally. These fats are called essential for a reason—our bodies need them, and the only way to get them is through foods or supplements.

But what else does science say about how omega-3 fatty acids can support our health? Here is a review of some exciting discoveries:

Enhancing Mood

New research published in the journal Biological Psychiatry found that omega-3 fatty acids can help lift mood. The researchers noted inflammation has been linked with low moods and found that omega-3 fatty acids had a marked impact on inflammation-induced mood issues. Most of the subjects who took the omega-3s felt better after just two weeks.

Supporting Memory

Scientists in Rhode Island studied 819 men and women, 117 of who were taking fish oil supplements. The researchers found that those who were taking fish oil scored higher on tests of memory and thinking than those who were not. Also, the brains of those taking fish oil were larger than the subjects not taking it, particularly in two brain structures critical for memory and thinking. A larger brain is generally a sign of better cognitive health.

Promoting Focus

Research published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology found that omega-3 fatty acids helped improve focus in children. The subjects who got the omega-3 supplement were rated as more attentive by their parents.

What to Look For when Choosing an Omega-3 Supplement

If you want the health support benefits that taking a quality fish oil supplement can bring, keep these tips in mind when shopping for omega-3s:

  • Because fish can accumulate toxins such as mercury, dioxins, and PCBs, it’s extremely important that the product be highly purified.
  • Fish oil spoils easily; look for a product that is manufactured according to the highest quality standards.
  • Choose a product that has high amounts of EPA and DHA (at least 500 mg of each). Some inferior quality brands are lacking in one or the other, or sometimes both.