Food and Behaviour Research

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24 October 2014 - ProHealth - Omega-3 Fatty Acids Increase Brain Volume

Julius Goepp, MD

Landmark study found that aging humans who consumed more omega-3s had increased gray matter brain volume

FAB RESEARCH COMMENT:

The underpinning research articles can be found here:

Long-chain omega-3 fatty acid intake is associated positively with corticolimbic gray matter volume in healthy adults.

Conklin SM, Gianaros PJ, Brown SM, Yao JK, Hariri AR, Manuck SB, Muldoon MF. (2007) Neurosci Lett.  421(3) 209-12

Maternal seafood consumption in pregnancy and neurodevelopmental outcomes in childhood (ALSPAC study): an observational cohort study

Hibbeln JR, Davis JM, Steer C, Emmett P, Rovers I, Williams C, Golding J. (2007) The Lancet 369 578-85

Captain Hibbeln, the author of the study above, has been speaking at our FAB Research conference in London, 29 October 2014. For more information on this event, please visit:

Nutrition and Mental Resilience in Children and Adults:
Feeding Better Health, Wellbeing and Performance

Recent research has opened up a new horizon in our understanding of omega-3s’ profound ability to halt age-related decline and pathology, shattering the long-held medical belief that brain shrinkage and nerve cell death is progressive and irreversible. Omega-3s have been shown to possess antidepressant and neuroprotective properties. One recent landmark study found that aging humans who consumed more omega-3s had increased gray matter brain volume and that most new tissue development was observed in the part of the brain associated with happiness. In healthy adults, increased omega-3 intake is positively associated with greater brain volume in regions associated with emotional arousal and regulation of behavior. People who get more omega-3s have bigger, more functional brains.

Similar findings appeared in the prestigious journal Lancet.In one of the largest studies of its kind, scientists analyzing the diets of 12,000 pregnant women found that children of those who consumed the least omega-3 were 48% more likely to score in the lowest quartile on IQ tests.

In this article, the latest research on these essential fatty acids’ importance to the growth, development, and function of the human brain is detailed. You will learn about their intrinsic power to preserve cognition and memory and reverse age-related loss of brain function. You will also discover exciting findings on their unique capacity to combat multiple forms of mental illness, neuropsychiatric disorders, and aberrant behavior, from Alzheimer’s disease and aggression to bipolar disorder and depression.