In 1993 the Bee Gees sang in “Omega Man”: “I am the Omega Man / Stand upright and understand / Everyone needs a plan.”
That could be the omega-3 theme song these days. When a study in cardiovascular pharmacotherapy came out that said high doses of fish oil were correlated with the occurrence of atrial fibrillation (a heart rhythm disorder that can lead to strokes), people began to neglect the amazing benefits of DHA omega-3 fatty acids . This is a mistake and we stand upright with a plan for how to take advantage of it.
First, let’s review what an abundant supply of dietary DHA omega-3 from salmon, sardines, sea trout, herring, and anchovies can do for you. There’s no denying that it lowers your risk of heart attack, coronary artery disease, and death from CHD and cardiovascular disease. It’s good for the brain too. It protects the brain from stroke and dementia, and can relieve symptoms of mild depression. A study in Translational Psychiatry even shows that adolescents with higher DHA levels by the age of 17 are 56% less likely to become psychotic by the age of 24.
As for taking omega-3 supplements, a new study shows that children born to mothers who took DHA-rich fish oil during pregnancy have faster processing speeds in solving complex problems and better scores on attention tests by the age of 10 . For mothers-to-be and for the rest of you – especially if you don’t eat fish – we recommend asking your doctor about taking low- or medium-dose algae oil supplements. This is also the omega-3 source of fish.
Mehmet Oz, MD is the host of “The Dr. Oz Show ”and Mike Roizen, MD is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus of the Cleveland Clinic. To live the healthiest life, turn on “The Dr. Oz Show ”or visit www.sharecare.com.