Search results for 'flax'

Flax seeds as an alternative to fish oil

30 Dec

Fish oil is often suggested as a source of DHA and omega 3 fatty acids. However, fish oils may themselves be dangerous and these dangers may outweigh any possible cognitive benefits.

Good news: a paper, published in The Journal of Lipid Research, finds evidence in rats that mammals may do a good job of synthesizing long chained fatty acids from the short chained variety found in plant sources (hat tip to Seth Roberts).

Here is Dr. Greger on how to add flax seeds to your diet.

Background on the fish oil craze

9 Aug

Because consumption of fish and fish oil are often recommend to improve brain function, I feel a special responsibility to point out the problems with this claim. Now an article in Slate delves into the history of fish oil research:

“today the market for fish oil pills is booming, even as scientists conduct trial after trial to hunt for a link to heart health that has never quite solidified.”

The article focuses on claims about fish consumption and cardiovascular disease. There is evidence for cognitive benefits from consuming omega-3 fatty acids. But there are much safer dietary sources of omega-3s than fish.



Mercury slows nerve transmission

17 Jun

Since fish is often recommended as a “brain food,” I feel a special responsibility to point out that fish should not be considered a safe source of omega-3 fatty acids. Here is a video by Dr. Greger describing recent research on the effects of mercury on the nervous system:


The prudent course of action is to consume plant sources of omega-3-fatty acids, such as ground flax seeds.

Dr. Greger: Fish oil is snake oil

6 Feb

In Dr. Greger’s latest evaluation of fish oil he states:

“Advice to eat oily fish or take fish oil to lower risk of heart disease, stroke, or mortality is no longer supported by the balance of available evidence.”

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Alzheimer’s disease, aspirin, and DHA

9 Jul

Alzheimer’s disease is known to involve inflammatory processes. Many hold out hope that a regular regime of aspirin (an anti-inflammatory agent) might reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. However, research results have been mixed. For example, here is one study that found a protective effect with high dose aspirin and a small, but not statistically significant, effect for low dose aspirin.

Now a paper, published in the journal Aging and Disease, speculates that aspirin and DHA together might offers protection against Alzheimer’s disease.

One final note, fish oil is not the best way add DHA to your diet. As Dr. Gregor points out:

“People consuming fish and fish oil may exceed the World Health Organization’s daily safety limit for dioxins and dioxin-like substances, such as PCBs, which reduces value of fish as a DHA source. In fact, fish oil may be so contaminated, it may even increase inflammatory markers”

There are now plant based DHA supplements available. I use  DEVA No Fish Vegan DHA 



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