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Fish Oil & Brain Health

by Vin Kutty, MS on March 23, 2010

Sharpen Your Mind

Randall McCloy Jr. was the only survivor of the 2006 Sago mine collapse.

When the rescuers found him in the rubble, he had brain, heart, liver and kidney failure. He was barely clinging to life. After he was transported to West Virginia School of Medicine, one of the first things the hospital neurosurgeons did was tube-feed him very large doses of fish oil.

Mr. McCloy has since made a remarkable recovery.

“I certainly think it played a big role,” said Dr. Julian Bailes, Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery. “How can he rebuild his brain, if he doesn’t have the substrate to do it?

Learn More

Scientific research on Omega-3 and brain health.

Omega-3 is the building block of the brain. So the brain has a voracious appetite for Omega-3 and other nutrients.

Have you ever skipped a meal and felt light-headed? Well, that’s your brain asking for glucose.

Your brain is like a muscle. To keep it toned, you need to do two things to it:

  1. Feed it
  2. Exercise it (think crossword puzzles and learning new languages)

The brain is only 2% of your total body weight, but it can use up to a third of the energy from what you eat. So it is the first to suffer when you eat junk food or eat trans-fats.

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Sixty percent of a healthy brain is Omega fats.

Omega-3 helps the transport of nutrients and “happy chemicals” (prostaglandins and neurotransmitters) like serotonin and dopamine in the brain. Omega-3 also laces or lines nerves. And since the brain is the center of the nervous system, it has a huge and constant need for Omega-3.

So what happens when you don’t have enough Omega-3?
The brain replaces or “makes do” with whatever type of fat is available. Usually, the brain (and the rest of the body for that matter) uses Omega-6 or trans-fat if that is what is available.

Some scientists use a lock-and-key analogy to explain how Omega-3 helps nerve cells in the brain. Imagine there is an Omega-3 lock and an Omega-3 key. They belong together. An Omega-3 lock cannot be opened with any other key. So if there is not enough Omega-3 available, many parts of the brain simply stops working like they should.

Bottom line: Not enough Omega-3 translates to a poorly working brain!

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{ 93 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda January 10, 2013 at 3:12 pm

I was taking Lovaza as prescribed by my doctor, and I noticed my recall memory was restored to earlier years (I am now 64 and had some frustrating memory loss) – but my blood sugar rose from pre-diabetic numbers in 120’s, to 151, at which time I quit Lovaza. I really value my memory, and did not want to stop the Lovaza. Would it be safe to take only one pill/day for memory. Can I restart Lovaza with no problem – I still have lots left. Would a fish oil pill be better?

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Vin Kutty January 10, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Hi Linda – yes, Omega-3 can help with memory. In some people, high levels of Omega-3 can raise blood sugar levels. Since you were prescribed Lovaza by your doctor, I cannot advise you on whether you should change your prescribed dosage. It would be illegal for me to do so. Please check with your doctor. Technically, re-starting Lovaza or any pharma grade fish oil should not be a problem but I would expect the same increase in blood sugar. I don’t think you’ll notice much difference between Lovaza or any pharmaceutical grade fish oil. As far as memory goes, yes, one pill would be better than not taking it at all. Again, please check with your doctor.
– Vin Kutty

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Jay September 23, 2014 at 2:07 am

Hi there, after the last couple of months ive been feeling light headed lack of concentration and memory loss. would Fish oil pills help?

Thanks. Jay Wade

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Vin Kutty, MS September 23, 2014 at 3:21 am

Hi Jay – frankly, that’s a tall order. Without knowing your current blood level of Omega-3, I can’t say how much of a difference you will notice. But Omega-3 is essential for so many functions in the body that I think it is certainly worth a try. Take 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day and see if you notice anything after a few weeks. I would also check with your doctor to rule out anything else.

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Jay September 29, 2014 at 12:46 am

Yeah i know but the thing is i was taking these pills a couple of weeks ago but when i was taking them it felt like it was getting worse losing my memory lack of focus and have trouble reading. Just wondering if there was anyway to reverse this problem or get these pills out of my system.

Thanks, Jay Wade

karen miller February 24, 2013 at 9:41 pm

What is the fish oil derived from?

Thank you, Karen Miller

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Vin Kutty February 24, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Hi Karen – OmegaVia fish oil is made from Alaskan Pollock and Whiting.

– Vin Kutty

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rommel amargo March 11, 2013 at 1:45 pm

hi great article,very informative. can you tel me if my 8 yr old daugther can benifit if she take omega 3 supplement?she s a little bit falling behind in her class.will there be no adverse side effect?

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Vin Kutty March 12, 2013 at 12:38 am

Hi Rommel – you’re better off getting her to eat salmon regularly. Reduce sugar and processed foods. Do that first. Then, adding Omega-3 to her diet would be a good idea.

– Vin Kutty

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Sandy March 18, 2013 at 10:33 am

Hi, If I am diabetic, how much fish oil is safe to take without my A1C going up. It is presently about 6.8.

Thanks so much!

Sandy

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Vin Kutty March 21, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Hi Sandy – your A1c is very high. However, the benefits of taking fish oil outweighs any possible effect it may have on your A1c or fasting blood glucose. There is some preliminary evidence that says high levels of fish oil can increase fasting blood glucose. But its effect on A1c is less certain. I assume you’re already under a doctor’s care for diabetes – I would check with them to make sure it is OK for you to take fish oil.

– Vin Kutty

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krish April 2, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Nice article, I want to improve my programming skills and problem solving skills. Will fish oil supplements help in improving my skills?

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Vin Kutty April 3, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Hi Krish – it certainly could. Try it and let us know how it goes.

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ALAIN April 11, 2013 at 8:29 pm

I HAVE SEVERAL BRANDS OF FISH OIL INCLUDING LOVAZA, WITH ALL OF THEM I HAVE EXPERIENCED HAIR LOSS AND PROSTATE INFLAMATION. I FEEL GREAT TAKING THE PRODUCT , MY MEMORY IS BETTER , BUT I HAVE THESE PROBLEMS. I HAVE READ IN OTHER WEBSITES PEOPLE COMPLAINING ABOUT THE SAME THING. YET EVERYTHING I READ FROM TRIALS IS THAT FISH OIL IS GOOD FOR HAIR AND PROSTATE . HAVE YOU HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT THIS PROBLEM

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Vin Kutty April 11, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Hi Alain – hair loss and prostate inflammation are not side effects of taking fish oil. At least not typical.

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Cecil Weddington October 12, 2014 at 11:04 am

Certain bloodtypes should do flax seed oil instead of fish oil for the omega 3’s! I am type O and I respond to the flax seed oil! Most medical doctiors do not teach you to eat for your bloodtype. The chemistry makeup of your blood responds different than someone if another bloodtype. That is why what works for someone else will not work for you!

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Vin Kutty, MS October 12, 2014 at 6:55 pm

Hi Cecil – this is a popular belief. However, regardless of blood type, your body must convert the short-chain ALA Omega-3 into long-chain EPA and even longer-chain DHA before you will experience any benefits. Sure, ALA by itself may have some function in the body, but what you really need are EPA and DHA. Most people only convert about 5% of ALA to EPA, with teenage girls faring the best at 20% conversion rate. And virtually NONE of the ALA from flax gets converted to DHA, regardless of age and gender. This is not a matter of blood type, but rather age, gender and background nutrition/health. Minor deficiencies in several minerals and vitamins can reduce this conversion to well below 5%. Even if you are a teenage girl with perfect nutrition, you will only convert about a fifth of the Omega-3 in flax to EPA. This means that if you choose to eat or supplement with flax seed oil, you cannot use it as a 1:1 substitute for fish oil. You will need a lot more flax seed oil…about 10 to 20 times more. Flax seed oil may work well for those with type O blood – I don’t know. But even if it does, you are not immune to limitations of enzymatic pathways.

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ALAIN April 11, 2013 at 8:31 pm

IS VASCEPA BETTER THAN OMEGAVIA?

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Vin Kutty April 11, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Hi Alain – it probably is. Vascepa has a little more EPA and a lot less DHA. Vascepa is also not enteric coated.

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RWM April 22, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Hi, Vin.

I know of someone who has a child with autism. He claims his child is benefiting from omega-3, in terms of responsiveness and mental alertness and awareness. I wonder whether it would be the EPA or the DHA component that he is likely benefiting from.

Also, I am diabetic and have been taking omega-3 for some time, with apparent benefits. My A1C is presently within normal perimeters (5.7) and my other numbers (LDL, HDL, cholesterol, triglycerides) are all very good. I will assume that omega-3 is helping with all of this.

Which component of omega-3 is likely benefiting me, EPA or DHA?

Kind regards.
RWM

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Vin Kutty April 22, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Hi RWM – the science on autism and Omega-3 is limited. So I can’t say with much confidence whether it is the EPA or DHA that’s helping. If it were my child, I’d go conservative and go with both fatty acids.

Your A1C is considered borderline or pre-diabetic. If you watch your diet, you could stay there and not progress into full blown diabetes. When it comes to diabetes, I am somewhat of a supplement skeptic. There are several supplements (including Omega-3) that show promise, but they all help only a little bit if at all. Nothing works like cutting out sugar and starch and exercise. I share your exact A1C number and the only way I can keep myself from going full-blown diabetic is to remain on a low-carb diet. Works for me but may not for others.

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RWM April 23, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Vin,
What is the upside and downside of soy and GMOs in omega-3 fish oil products? Do they make a difference?

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Vin Kutty April 24, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Hi RWM – no difference in my opinion, unless you are allergic to soy. If you are not allergic, then we’re splitting hairs because the level of soy content in any fish oil (in the form of natural Vitamin E as a preservative) is so miniscule that it is irrelevant. Remember the first rule of toxicology: the dose makes the poison.

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Debra Whyte May 2, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I have a huge history of Alzheimer’s in my family, how much fish oil/ omega 3 should I take a day

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Vin Kutty May 4, 2013 at 12:08 am

Hi Debra – there isn’t very good evidence of Omega-3 helping Alzheimer’s after the disease has set in. This could be because the disease progresses over decades and the time to watch your diet and nutrition is BEFORE (long before) the illness sets in. My suggestion to you is to really watch your sugar and starch intake – cut it down drastically. Get to know coconut oil. There is a great Youtube video on coconut oil and alzheimers – find it and watch it. Omega-3 dosage of 1000 mg per day is a good idea too.

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pete May 21, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Will it give me wind. I suffer from chronic gas and am worried?

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Vin Kutty May 21, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Hi Pete – usually not. If you notice greater than usual discomfort, try some digestive enzymes like the one from LifeExtension called Extraordinary Enzymes. Might also help if you increased probiotic and fermeted food consumption and healing the gut.

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ANN May 25, 2013 at 4:11 pm

FOR AN AUTISTIC CHILD OF 9 YEARS HOW MUCH FISH OIL SHOULD HE TAKE ADAY FOR CONCENTRATION AND BRAIN IMPROVEMENT?

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Vin Kutty May 26, 2013 at 12:08 am

Hi Ann – I’d suggest between 500 mg and 1000 mg per day. Omega-3 pills alone will not help. I suggest giving the child a whole foods diet (sometimes called Paleo) that is high in vegetables, grass-fed meats, eggs, fruits and nuts.

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Bodio June 1, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Which omega 3 really help with brain function?
I’m currently in nursing school and I need all the help I can get for my brain and overall memory.

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Vin Kutty June 2, 2013 at 2:37 am

Hi Bodio – you need both EPA and DHA. If you’re trying to get a handle on mood issues, EPA will help a little more.

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Karim July 24, 2013 at 7:58 pm

the EPA/ DHA ratio is really confusing
all I am looking for from fish oil is to make my brain sharper ,to improve my memory and cognitive functions and to make my mood higher.
p.s. I am an ADHD and bipolar patient.
some researches and websites claim that a high EPA/to very low DHA ratio is the best thing to consider for example :OmegaBrite
will you please tell me if I should stick with the normal ratio 3:2 or consider a different supplement

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Vin Kutty July 25, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Hi Karim – you’d be fine with a regular ratio since you’re primarily brain focused. But remember, fish oil + bad diet = bad diet. You may get greater benefits from switching to a whole foods only diet.

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james July 26, 2013 at 4:40 am

I have experimented with Merck ,seven seas Fish-oil, that Morning if I take one capsule of Fish oil, I feel good ( since ,I have circulatory problems , and the level of Triglicerides are high, even I have fatty liver), but yesterday night I took fish along with the meal (not sea fish , it is cold water fish) and early morning around 3.30 am , I took one capsule of fish oil. I found myself , nose bleeding. please advice me on this

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Vin Kutty July 26, 2013 at 7:32 pm

Hi James – I doubt the incidences are connected. Extremely high doses of Omega-3 taken over a long time can increase nose bleeds. Clearly, that’s not what you did. I’d look elsewhere for clues – talk to your doctor.

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Jeffrey Cardoza July 29, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Where does the Omega3 (EPA & DHA) arrive in the brain? The neuroscience is what i’m mostly asking.

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Vin Kutty July 30, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Hi Jeffrey – mostly in the hippocampus. Omega-3, especially DHA, is found in the part of the brain involved in new memory formation. Specifically, synaptic membranes and neurites.

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Nicole January 13, 2014 at 6:11 pm

I was wondering about how much and what type of supplement/fish oil capsule would be good to try with a 5 year old with cerebral palsy/epilepsy/asthma? I’ve been researching that fish oil can be helpful for these and lots of other issues but I am having trouble figuring out what exactly to try and how much. My daughter has a feeding tube so whatever we give her we usually dissolve with water and give her that way. Could you help me with a dosage recommendation?

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Vin Kutty January 13, 2014 at 11:29 pm

Hi Nicole – try one or two teaspoons of this product a day: http://www.nordicnaturals.com/en/Products/Product_Details/514/?ProdID=1711 Barleans makes Omega Swirls that can also be liquified and fed through a tube. For now, aim for 500 mg of Omega-3 or so per day.

Between the two, I prefer Nordic. Please let me know how it works out.

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rodziah January 18, 2014 at 8:14 am

hi Vin…good and excellent information, I learned a lot about omega 3 and fish oil from this site..

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larry January 18, 2014 at 9:25 am

I am bipolar been in bed for a year
Need help how many mg should i start with

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Vin Kutty January 18, 2014 at 7:22 pm

Hi Larry – sorry to hear that you’ve had to stay bed-bound for a year. Bipolar is a challenging condition. I assume you are getting professional medical help. While taking Omega-3 may or may not dramatically change the condition, it is certainly worth trying for a few months to see if you notice any change. I’d suggest taking 2000 mg of Omega-3 per day. There may be several other nutritional factors to attend to, so I recommend talking to a dietitian: http://authoritynutrition.com/11-paleo-low-carb-registered-dietitians-with-blogs/

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Jill February 3, 2014 at 2:01 pm

I’m a 53 yr.old female & suffered a mild traumatic brain injury after being hit by a car last yr. I was wondering what dosage & product you would recommend.

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Vin Kutty February 4, 2014 at 4:39 am

Hi Jill – so sorry to hear about that. Hope you are recovering. You need a high DHA product. OmegaVia is not your right choice. However, you may want to give this product a shot. We make it too: http://www.amazon.com/Pharma-Grade-InnovixLabs-Concentrated-Burp-Free-Capsules/dp/B00F5ZV6W6/

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Krysten February 8, 2014 at 8:56 pm

My friend was in a accident and I have been looking up a lot to try and help him and his family out he has server Traumatic brain injury and he is bed ridden and has a feeding tube and a trach I found out that fish oil might help him recover he will never be the same person though. He cant talk cant walk or do pretty much do anything he is starting to move his left arm and he can pick up his left leg a little. He needs someone with him 24/7 and I was wondering what kind of fish oil to use for a feeding tube and where to buy it at. So I can try and help him get better I would do anything for him and his family to help him out

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Vin Kutty February 8, 2014 at 9:22 pm

Hi Krysten – so sorry to read about this. I’ve been hearing a lot about this lately. I was just talking to a doctor who gave his patient (similar situation as your friend) 10 grams of Omega-3 per day (10,000 mg per day) for a week. He then reduced the dosage to 5000 mg per day over a period of 2-3 weeks. They were able to get the patient out of a coma this way. This is all very new in terms of scientific discovery but it is not surprising that high dose fish oil for a few weeks helps because the brain is made up of fats and it needs a lot of Omega-3 to rebuild. Omega-3 also reduces inflammation in the brain. You may want to follow Dr. Barry Sears on Facebook – he is always posting about this. My suggestion is to bring this up with your friend’s family and have them discuss with his doctor. You may need to use liquid fish oil – I suggest you try Nordic Naturals if his doctor decides to go this route.

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Brandon February 10, 2014 at 10:13 pm

Is there a certain type of feeding tube that the fish oils can go down? My fiancĂ© had a stroke at 22 y/o and the doctors said let’s try the fish oils but then a couple hours later said that they can’t do it because the oil is caustic to the tubing? She has a g-tube in place right now. She has her eyes open and looking around but following no commands or making purposeful movement. We have been at the University of Michigan hospital since dec 8th 2013. Just looking on how to get the fish oils to her thanks!

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Vin Kutty February 10, 2014 at 10:36 pm

Hi Brandon – this happening to a 22 year old is shocking and sad. I don’t know if there is a special type of tubing for this. Instead of just looking at tubing, I would suggest trying different types of Omega-3 to see if they all have the same caustic effect. My suggestion is to try Nordic Naturals liquid Omega-3 first. Please keep us posted.

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Brandon February 10, 2014 at 10:48 pm

I’ll ask the doctors, being caustic to the tube came from the pharmacy inside the hospital. Would hospitals have more than one kind of omega 3’s? If not I might be able to bring it in from the outside. With the doctors permission first. Yes unfortunately all of this is from a staph infection that landed on her heart valve. With every beat it spread the infection through her body mainly her brain. The infection then caused aneurysms in her brain. One of the multiple aneurysm burst on Christmas Eve and caused a massive bleed. After doing research I’m nervous about large dosages but we decided to start her out at 3 grams a day but now I just need to find out how to give it to her. Thank you!

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Vin Kutty February 11, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Hi Brandon – some forms of fish oil may be gentler on synthetic tubing etc. This is why I suggested Nordic Naturals liquid fish oil, which is in a triglyceride form, a relative neutral form of fish oil. Hospitals usually have just fish oil pills. People suffering from brain trauma have been given both pills and liquid. Some have even been given an IV of fish oil. Doses have been as high as 10 grams during the first week and then lowering it to 5 grams the week after. And then down to 2 or 3 grams after that. But then again, this appears to be the developing protocol immediately after the stroke or trauma. Not sure how it works a month or two after the incident.

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Brandon February 12, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Vin, thank you for time. I checked out Nordic naturals and the Ultimate Omega 3 Xtra liquid seemed like a great product. The ratio of EPA to dha is 2:1 which is what dr. Barry Sears recommends. My next question is have you ever heard of a AA/EPA ratio test? I want to do this before I give her any fish oils because then I will know the correct amount to give. Just wanted your opinion. Thanks!

Mariana Aviles September 7, 2014 at 5:03 pm

My name is Mariana. My son Cris was involve in a motorsicle accident He suffer brain damage and he is been for a month and a half not moving, not talking, or doing nothing. He don’t follow commants. This week he start moving his arms and his right leg. The teraphys in the hospital was give him some therapy to him Wednesday 3, 2014 and told him to bring his right hand up and he did it three times for the therapist. Did you thing he can be eligible for the treatment with the omega 3 or what will you recommend ? Thank you for your time and I am waiting for your answer please.

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Vin Kutty, MS September 7, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Hi Mariana – I’m so sorry to hear about your son’s accident. I think fish oil is a great idea for every one, whether they’ve been in an accident or not. However, you need to talk to your son’s doctor about this. High dose Omega-3 seems to be helping a lot of people, as the video in this article says, but it is not a proven and FDA approved cure for this. Omega-3 in high does could help a lot and the downside is minimal, possibly some digestive discomfort. So it is worth discussing with your son’s doctor.

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chris March 23, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Hey Vin, interesting info. Do you think peanut butter is a good fat for the brain? because even out of eating that, peanuts, as well as taking fish oil soft jells, I feel noticeably and significantly energized mentally with a little PB.

Also do you know anything about myelin in the brain. Because I consistently see that comes up when I look at DHA/EPA omega-3 studies.

Thank You!

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Vin Kutty March 24, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Hi Chris – no, peanut butter only has very little that’s good for the brain but it has a lot of Omega-6 fats that competes with and undoes the benefit of Omega-3 from fish oil. If you want to try a nut butter (peanut is a legume, not a nut), I suggest macadamia, cashew or almond butter. Macadamia nut butter is probably the healthiest based on the fatty acids in it.

Myelin sheath is a thin layer around neurons – nervous system and the brain – and Omega-3, especially DHA, helps in its proper function and operation. The adult human brain needs about 4 mg of DHA every day.

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Mary June 6, 2014 at 6:59 pm

I am interested in knowing what form of fish oil (EPA vs DHA) is most beneficial for multiple sclerosis. Do you need both forms and if so, how much of each and what should the ratio be? And should you avoid fish oil with Whole Omega Complex such as in Norwegian Gold Super Critical Omega. Thank you very much for the information.

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Vin Kutty, MS June 8, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Hi Mary – this question comes up from time to time. Unfortunately, there is no clear answer. There is a role for both EPA and DHA when it comes to the brain and nervous system. I cannot say one is less or more important than the other. If some I know had MS, I’d suggest anywhere from 2000 to 4000 mg of Omega-3 per day, containing both EPA and DHA. Don’t worry about ratios. Make sure you clear any dosage with your doctor.

Norwegian Gold is perfectly fine.

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Mary June 9, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Thank you so much for the information and for your prompt reply.

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Akira July 14, 2014 at 4:26 am

Hi Vin.my sister had a mild stroke last 2 weeks.she is only 28 years she has a young hypertension.After doing MRI and CT scan.Doctors had confirm that she had anuerysm and there is 3 of them.one had burst and Dictor said it might rebleed again.According to Dr the blood cloth is the one holding the ruptured one from rebleeding.Do you think i should let her eat omega 3? Because i read it is very good for the brain.and how much dose do you suggest?.Tq

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Vin Kutty, MS July 14, 2014 at 5:00 am

Hi Akira – sorry to hear about your sister. She’s really young to have to go through this. Since I am not a doctor, I am neither qualified nor authorized to give you medical advice…and anything in response to you would be medical advice. Please work closely with her doctor to find the right solution.

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Surya July 23, 2014 at 11:29 am

Hi

MY son had a brain tumor in his left hemisphere when he was 1.5 years old and this affected his right side. Luckily he had come out of it and the tumor is removed and there is no reoccurrence. He is now 7 years old and is goign to school. he had undergone physio theraphy and occupational theraphy to improve his right side ( hand, fingers and legs). He has improved a lot, but there is not much improvement in his right side fingers. I was told by one of my friends to apply fish oil on his right side, hand and leg and I am doing it right now every day. He even takes 1 tea sppon of fish oil everyday orally before going to bed.
Could you please suggest me what has to to be done to improve his right side. He had a tumor called Ependymoma.

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Vin Kutty, MS July 23, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Hi Surya – this is a medical condition and since I am not a doctor, I am neither qualified nor authorized to dispense medical advice. Having said that, giving him a teaspoon of fish oil every day is a great idea. But applying fish oil on the exterior of his hands and legs is a complete and utter waste of your time, money and I pity the poor kid for enduring the odor despite all that he’s had to go through.

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Patricia July 24, 2014 at 12:01 am

Mr. Kutty, I have partial simple seizure disorder now controlled with Lamotrigine. I’m 67 years old and this condition did not start until I was in my fifties. While my doctor and I were working on medication to control this problem I had two grand Mal seizures. But my problem is now totally controlled and has been for several years. Yesterday I saw my neuroligist because of issues with memory. She assures me this is not ALZ and suggested I research and start taking fish oil supplements. What kind and how much would you suggest I take? Thank you

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Vin Kutty, MS July 24, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Hi Patricia – fish oil, Turmeric (Curcumin), magnesium, egg yolks, cholesterol (yes, cholesterol!) are all good for the brain. I would not worry too much about the details other than that you take about 1000 mg of Omega-3 per day. Ideally, you should take a pharmaceutical grade fish oil – these tend to be purer and have all the Omega-3 you need in one pill. If you’re worried about ALZ, pretend you have diabetes and start cutting back on sugars and sweets, as ALZ is often called ‘diabetes of the brain.’ You might want to read Grain Brain by Dr. Perlmutter as well.

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Rebin An August 30, 2014 at 7:44 pm

Hi , i’m 18 and i have no problem with my brain and not seek too , is it benefit to take Omega-3 fish oil capsules for more brain activity and being more healthy?
thnx

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Vin Kutty, MS August 30, 2014 at 10:21 pm

Hi Rebin – yes, it is always a good idea to get some extra Omega-3 from seafood or supplements.

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daf September 21, 2014 at 10:29 am

hi I’m 15
I want to eat fish oil for my brain the school work, but how do I know it helps and will it really work.
and will it help for other think like pimples?
I have read a lot on the internet that it will help the muscle stuff like those but will it work for my age?

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Vin Kutty, MS September 21, 2014 at 10:36 pm

Hi Daf – most of your brain is fat and DHA Omega-3 is a huge part of the fats. Without enough Omega-3 fats, you simply can’t have a healthy brain.

If you want to get rid of pimples, get rid of sugar, dairy and grains. Eat a paleo type diet.

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kiiransachar October 8, 2014 at 1:55 pm

My son is14yrs. Old suffering from epilepsy he is taking Desval Er 1250mg once a day can I give to him fish oil capsule or tell me about other things that I give to him thanx

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Vin Kutty, MS October 9, 2014 at 3:01 am

Hi kiiransachar – this is a question best directed at his doctor. Having said that, I cannot imagine that anyone who would not benefit from a little fish oil. For now, aim for 1000 mg of Omega-3 per day.

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monique October 30, 2014 at 9:36 am

My OB prescribed me an Omega block i am 6mos pregnant does it still help my baby’s brain development?

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Vin Kutty, MS November 3, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Hi Monique – Omega-3, especially DHA is critical for your baby’s brain and eye development. It is crucial all throughout the pregnancy, but especially as you get closer to the last few months. Please read this: http://www.omegavia.com/fish-oil-during-pregnancy/

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Sharon Ratliff November 24, 2014 at 4:13 am

I have been taking Fish Oil for awhile for my cholestial and I am having trouble with double vision you ever heard of Fish Oil causing this.

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Vin Kutty, MS November 24, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Hi Sharon – no, I have not heard of fish oil causing double vision in anyone. This is not something you should ignore. Please have it checked out by a specialist.

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Joy January 27, 2015 at 6:24 pm

my son was in a motorcycle accident in May 2014, still in the hospital. Is this something the drs can prescribe? How much omega 3s should be given?

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Vin Kutty, MS January 27, 2015 at 10:05 pm

Hi Joy – talk to your son’s doctors about this. It may still help. Also, read everything on Dr. Lewis’ website.

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Yesmine August 5, 2015 at 8:21 pm

I have a 5 yes old boy recently diagnosed with left temporal lobe epilepsy. At first, I applied magnesium oil 3 times a day on his legs. I also give him Kids Calm Multi Vitamin which has 240mg of Magnesium, 1000mg fish oil (but it has only 150 in total for EPA/DHA). I also give him 2+ tbsp coconut oil in morning and cook lunch and dinner with coconut oil. Within few days, his jeering all stopped. I didn’t think to much and thought he was just needed more foods. So I stopped all magnesium, vitamins and coconut oil one day day… immediately later that day his jerks jerks came back. Now we try to give him same thing plus additional fish oil pill which has 100mg EPA and 50mg DHA. But the jerkscome is not stopping … any ideal? We also increase the coconut oil to 3 tbsp plus cooking with it. We need some advice please about fish oil dosage.

Note: There were 2 days after the reoccur entry of jeering he was jerkscome free and we realized he had eaten fish previous day day for both lunch and dinner. If that’s stopped the jerking, how much should we give him for fish oil dosage?

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Vin Kutty, MS August 5, 2015 at 8:48 pm

Hi Yesmine – standard recommended dose for a 5 year old is about 200-300 mg Omega-3 per day. You can experiment with a little more, say 500 to 1000 mg a day for a week or two to see if you notice any change.

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Yesmine August 6, 2015 at 2:02 am

Thanks a lot for your input. Do I need to concern if a product says fish oil for 1000mg, the EPA is 420, DHA for 300mg? So I only look at 720mg in total for Omega 3 and ignore the 1000mg fish oil? If I get this product and the multi vitamin which already has 1000mg fish oil, but only 150mg EPA+DHA, then 2 products will have 2000mg fish oil and 870mg Omega 3 …would that be fine? Note that he also taking 3+ tbsp coconut oil.

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Vin Kutty, MS August 6, 2015 at 3:46 am

Hi Yesmine – you should ignore the oil part and focus only on the Omega-3 content.

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Yesmine August 7, 2015 at 12:01 am

Hi Vin, can I give 1 pill of fish oil that I am currently taking for my 5 yrs old? The content is 1200mg fish oil, EPA 420mg, DHA 280mg. I also give him Kid Calm which has 1000mg of fish oil, 150mg EPA+DHA combined. So total he will have 2200mg fish oil and 850mg of EPA+DHA. Will that be okay? Coz the fish oil I am taking did not say its for children. If he is willing to take it, will that be ok?

Yesmine August 13, 2015 at 8:21 pm

Hi Vin,

I know we should eat fish regularly than just rely on fish oil supplements. Do you have any suggestion on farm raised salmon/fish vs. wild catch salmon/fish? I saw an article saying farm raised salmon has less omega 3 than wild catch salmon and it’seems more contamination compared to wild fish. Thank you for your time.

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Vin Kutty, MS August 14, 2015 at 2:54 am

Yes, farm raised salmon has a less desirable fatty acid profile. But it’s still better than chicken nuggets!

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Vin Kutty February 12, 2014 at 7:46 pm

Hi Brandon – yes, AA/EPA is a good measure of inflammation. I don’t think you need to do this before treatment. Most of us are inflamed due to poor diet, regardless of stroke or brain injury. So you would not be gaining any extra insight. And this test takes a while get results because you have to send it off. You’re losing precious time in the meantime. Don’t delay treatment – talk to your doctor and get going.

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Vin Kutty, MS August 7, 2015 at 4:08 am

Hi yesmine – I would not give such a large pill (1200 mg) to a child. Consider liquid fish oil if available: http://www.omegavia.com/liquid-fish-oil/

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Yesmine August 7, 2015 at 11:36 am

Thanks for the input. 1200mg is fish oil only and EPA DHA are extra. I am currently getting my 5 yrs old multi vitamin which has 1000mg fish oil but it has very low EPA+DHA combined for only 150mg. If I just need to focus on EPA+DHA amount, maybe it can easily go over 2000mg for fish oil alone. Or is there a difference between adult fish oil and children kids fish oil. What do you think? I am trying to get my child more fish oil for his seizure. Thank you.

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Vin Kutty, MS August 7, 2015 at 4:05 pm

Hi Yesmine – there is no difference between the oil that is marketed to adults versus those marketed to children. Sometimes, there is additional flavoring added to children’s fish oil to make it easier to consume. Otherwise, there is no difference. Of course, oils vary in the Omega-3 concentration. The cheap oils are 25% Omega-3. Better oils are 75 to 95% Omega-3.

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Yesmine August 13, 2015 at 10:55 am

Hi Vin,

Thank you for your info. We bought Omegalicious Peach Mango High Potency fish oil (we live in Toronto where Whole Foods store is fairly new and there are not many choices for Kids Omega from Nortic brand, my son doesnt like the bubble gum Nortic kids Omega 3 liquid) with doesnt indicate fish oil amount but only EPA 525mg and DHA 225mg … total Omega 3 is 750mg per 2 teaspoon. We start giving our 5 yrs old son 1.5 teaspoon everyday (split into 3/4 teaspoon for AM and PM). Do you think we should give him all in AM or PM only? Also, for any brand, we do not always expect its 100% EPA and DHA in it … correct? Any ideal about this brand?

One more question, when we take fish oil daily, how long does the Omega 3 will last in our body. Few blogs I came across indicating people taking fish oil to control their epilepsy but once they stopped the fish oil, seizure comes back. This kind of happended to my son (I am not sure its coincidence in his case). One lady gives tuna meal everyday to her daugther and she had no seizures. But if she goes few meals without tuna, seizure comes back. So I am really curious. And another mum gave her 5 yrs old son everyday fish oil liquid in his yogurt for 1.5 years and stopped, after few weeks without the fish oil, her son started had seizure and she started again and his seizure is stopped. This is very interesting and wonder if you know how long omega 3 normally will stays in our system? Thank you, Vin.

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Vin Kutty, MS August 13, 2015 at 4:21 pm

Hi Yesmine – Omegalicious is fine. You’re better off splitting the dosage into AM and PM. No brand will contain 100% EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA are the main components of fish oil, so there will always be some other fish oil components along with EPA and DHA.

The DHA will remain in the body for months or years. But EPA will be used up in about a week or two.

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Yesmine August 19, 2015 at 12:30 am

Thank you, Vin. I have another question in regards of getting vitamin D from cod liver oil. I am giving my 5 years old Omegalicious 2 teaspoons with total Omega 3 of 700mg. I would like to improve his Vitamin D as he is in borderline of deficiency. Will that be too much for him along with Omegalicious? I heard cod liver oil has less omega 3 than fish oil, is that true?

Another question is … my son blood work of vitamin B12 is 702 where max normal range is 615 pmol/L. Could eating Lot of salmon causing this? I know fish oil itself doesnt have B12.

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Vin Kutty, MS August 19, 2015 at 12:46 am

Hi Yesmine – if you’re relying on Omegalicious for your son’s Omega-3 needs, than I suggest you find another source for Vit D. The best source is mid-day sunshine – without a doubt. Otherwise, go with Thorne Liquid Vitamin D drops.

I don’t know how to answer the B12 question.

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Yesmine August 21, 2015 at 5:36 pm

Hi Vin,

No, we are not rely on fish oil supplement. We still give him salmon at least 3-4 times per week. As for Vitamin D via sunshine, it is kind of hard as we both works and he is in school. When winter comes, it will be harder to get sunshine. I would assume 5 years old needs 1000IU of Vitamin D even though FDA says his age only needs 400IU … I read somewhere saying 400IU is too low for his age.

BTW, I went to Botanica website for their Omegalicious fish oil product. I find no other information under Contact Us beside email and toll free number. Are you familiar to this company? Kind of weird they has no mailing address, etc. I can’t find their product under IFOS list :(

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Vin Kutty, MS August 21, 2015 at 6:12 pm

Hi Yesmine – 400 IU of Vitamin D3 is much too low. You will barely avoid disease and deficiency symptoms with that. Yes, 1000 IU per day is a better dose.

I am not familiar with that company.

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