The human brain contains most polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids of all organs in the body.
The omega-3 fatty acids play a key role in structure and function of the brain and they are crucial for a well-functioning brain. Our bodies do not produce these omega-3 fatty acids, they must be obtained through food or dietary supplement.
The Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA
The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are vital building blocks in the brain and play an important role in the complex mechanisms of the brain. Brain cells rich in omega-3 facilitate smooth communication between cells which has a positive impact on cognitive functions such as ability to learn and memory.
Several studies have looked at the effect omega-3 fatty acids have on behavioural habits and ADHD amongst youngsters. Omega-3 fatty acids were found to improve ADHD symptoms, literacy and memory.
Omega-3 for growth and development of the brain
The brain is one of the body’s most complex and crucial organs. The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are important for the development and growth of the brain.
As early as during pregnancy the build-up of the nervous system and development of the brain are dependent on the foetus receiving enough omega-3 fatty acids through the mother’s diet.
The brain continues to grow for a few years after birth and by the age of 2 years, the brain is about 80% of the adult size. However, changes occur both in structure and function of the brain throughout life.
Cognitive function reaches its peak during middle adulthood and declines as the body and brain begin to age. As we age the brain naturally do not perform in the same way as in younger years.
A good brain function requires adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids to ensure normal development and optimal functioning of the brain at all phases of life.
How to secure good brain function
For a well-functioning brain, it is important to avoid nutrient deficiencies. Access to good nutrients and a varied diet is important factors. Most people are aware that diet affects our health but may not be familiar with the effect the diet has on our brain. The nerve cells need a varied and healthy diet to work optimally. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) claims it is sufficiently documented through research that a daily intake of 250mg of omega-3 fatty acid DHA contributes to the normal functioning of the brain.
Exercise is good for the brain
The chemical reactions in the brain during physical activity have a positive effect on the brain. Physical activity is far more important to the brain than previously thought. The brain is our next big health challenge. Therefore, there is good reason to prioritize an active lifestyle with enough exercise and a daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids in everyday life. Read more about how the brain is affected and what it takes here.