Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for the maintenance of brain health and normal brain function throughout life. Consisting of 60% fat, the brain needs omega-3s to develop and function properly. Research shows that fatty acids are some of the most critical and influential molecules on your brain’s integrity and ability to perform. Adequate levels of omega-3s supports proper blood flow in the brain, and in turn, supports memory.
DHA & EPA’s Influence on the Brain
Both DHA and EPA determine how well the brain develops, functions, and is preserved as it ages. DHA is the most abundant Omega-3 fatty acid in the brain and is especially important in nerve cell structure and function. While DHA is proven essential to pre- and post-natal brain development, EPA seems more influential on behavior and mood. Both DHA and EPA generate neuroprotective compounds, meaning they help to keep nerve cells functioning properly.
Research to Prove It!
A study in 2021 followed over 300 healthy individuals ages 25-49, for 6-months assessing cognitive performance and memory consolidation via computerized cognitive markers including speed and accuracy. The participants consumed either EPA and DHA (fish oil) together (900mg EPA/360mg DHA) or a placebo of Olive Oil. The study showed that both memory accuracy and speed improved with the EPA and DHA oil compared to the placebo. In addition, there is also research supporting that accelerated cognitive decline and mild cognitive impairment are correlated with lower tissue levels of DHA/EPA. This research has shown that DHA/EPA supplementation supports cognitive function.