Omega-3 Study May Show Benefit in Primates


A recent study of Omega-3’s featured in the February issue of the Journal of Neuroscience may further correlate the benefits of the fatty acid to your overall health. Omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) fatty acids have been shown in many studies to help your overall health as well as support the development, maintenance and protection of structures of the nervous system. In addition, it promotes an anti-inflammatory response in the body. That is why it is important to include two-to-four servings (about four ounces each) of omega-3 fatty acids per week in your diet.

In this recent study, researchers from the Oregon Health and Science University looked at the effects of omega-3 in rhesus macaques’ primates brains (between the ages of 17 and 19) and it is the first study to “utilize functional brain magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) to observe the interaction of multiple brain networks in live, non-human primates.” They were reportedly given lifelong low or high DHA diets. What they found was greater connectivity in important brain activities for the macaques with high DHA diets. Researchers noted, “We could see activity and connections within areas of the macaque brain that are important in the human brain for attention. The data also shows in detail how similar the networks in a monkey brain are to networks in a human brain, but only in the context of a diet rich in omega-3-fatty acids.”

Although additional studies are needed, researchers believe there could be applications to other neurological conditions such as autism and attentions disorders. Remember, you can get omega-3 through various food sources such as fatty fish (salmon, sardines, and mackerel), nuts and seeds. You can also get omega-3 in supplement form, but always ask your doctor before taking any new supplement.

Interested in reading more? Check out Fish Oil Lowers Cardiovascular Disease Risk