Knowing the benefits of fish oils and omega-3 fatty acids will help you stick to a fishy diet. Here’s a quick summary of how DHA-3 fatty acids and fish oil affects your brain health.

benefits of omega 3 fatty acidsI recently wrote an article for Health magazine about keeping your brain healthy as you age – it’s scheduled for the September issue. Because of what I learned from the brain health experts I interviewed, I now take a fish oil (DHA) supplement every day! Omega-3’s are even claimed to be one of the foods proven to help treat depression.

“Being called a ‘fathead’ is okay because 60% of your brain is fat, and 50% of that should be DHA,” says Michael Roizen, MD, coauthor of YOU: The Owner’s Manual – An Insider’s Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger and cofounder of RealAge, Inc. “Maximizing your intake of DHA, the omega-3 fat that is a building block of the brain, will support brain development and brain health throughout life.”

For more info about body and brain health, read YOU: The Owner’s Manual — which Dr Roizen wrote with Dr Mehmet Oz. And here are the brain health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, plus a few easy ways to get more fish oil in your diet…

The Benefits of Taking Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Fish Oils

The more DHA you consume, the more health benefits you’ll enjoy! Health benefits include:

  • Improved brain health and repair
  • Protection against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
  • Lowered risk of age-related eye disease
  • Less depression
  • Improves heart health by reducing arterial inflammation
  • Decreases loss of brain neurons
  • Less memory loss
  • Reduced risk of advanced prostrate cancer

The health benefits of DHA omega-3 from fortified foods, supplements, and fish rich in DHA also improves myelin sheath repair in your brain. Dr Roizen says, “Myelin sheaths are the casings surrounding nerves that help the nerves decrease inflammation and facilitate fast messages – or a ‘quick’ brain.”

DHA is the omega-3 fatty acid that helps build the brain, decrease inflammation, and speed recovery of injured brain cell membranes. DHA is the only omega-3 shown to provide brain, eye and heart health benefits, says Dr Roizen. One of the best brain health tips is to increase your fish oil consumption.

The World Health Organization recommends an intake of 220 mg of DHA per day for healthy adults, but research shows that the average North American takes in less than 100 mg of DHA per day. Dr Roizen makes sure he gets enough omega-3 fatty acids by taking 600 mg of a day as a supplement.

Always make sure you take high purity Omega-3 DHA fish oil.

How to Get More Fish Oils in Your Diet

You’ll find DHA in salmon or trout (these are the only fish sold in America that consistently have “fish fat” -the others are apparently fed such that their fats are not omega-3 any more-a big change in the last five years) and DHA-fortified foods. Dr Roizen suggests looking for foods and beverages that have the life’s DHA logo to ensure you’re getting a pure, plant-derived source of DHA.

DHA-3 Fortified Foods

  • Juice
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Tortillas
  • Yogurt
  • Baby formula

Dr Roizen says, “While we aren’t sure of all the mechanisms of omega-3 fatty acids and fish oils, we are sure of the health benefits: less age-related memory loss, less Alzheimer’s disease, less depression, and a quicker mind.”

Also – the Mediterranean Diet is high in omega-3 fatty acids and fish oils.

If you have any thoughts about taking omega-3 fatty acids and fish oils to improve your brain health, please comment below.

To learn about how foods such as fish oils affect your appearance, read Protein Rich Foods for Healthy Hair and Skin.

For more info on brain health from Dr Michael Roizen, visit Life’s DHA Index of Brain Health.


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13 thoughts on “The Benefits of Taking Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Fish Oils”

  1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen


    Thanks for your information on fish oils during pregnancy! This is exactly why it’s so important for pregnant women to check with their obgyns before taking anything, even omega-3s that are reportedly very healthy and important for the brains of developing babies.

  2. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hello Nicholeta,

    Research shows that the benefits of taking omega-3 fatty acids and fish oils helps the development and growth of your baby when it is in your uterus. Omega 3 helps to build the brain, form the retinas, and develop the nervous system.

    Taking fish oil supplements is probably a good idea — and so is talking to your doctor about the best kind of supplements and how much to take!


  3. May be some one can tell me how suppliments with Omega 3 influence the development of brain of babies during pregnancy period. I wish to find more about this subject as i am sure about the benefits of Omega 3 fats on human body, but since i am pregnant i can’t stand fish anymore.

  4. Hi Laurie,

    Very good post on the essential Omega 3 that our body needs for good brain health, and aids against depression!

    Yes, the most Omega 3 concentrated parts of our body is the brain and eye retinas.

    That is also why Omega 3 is SO vital for the cognitive development and sight development of the fetus and newborn infant.

    However, Doctors advise pregnant women to refrain from fish and fish oil – as to avoid the risk of accumulation of mercury and PCB toxins from the sea, and to use Omega 3 of a vegetal or source – as these hazardous toxins pass the umbilical cord and breast milk into the baby.


  5. I say that it’s amazing how many health benefits Omega 3 has. I’ve learned that it’s good for the heart, for the brain, for system in general, and it even is good for those with mental health issues!

  6. One thing that many people don’t know is that as well as increasing our intake of Omega3 oils, we should also decrease our intake of Omega 6 fats.

  7. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    My husband and I take a DHA fish oil supplement every night — omega-3 fatty acids are very good for your brain and heart health.

  8. Fish oil is without a doubt one of the most beneficial compounds for human health. obviously our bodies cannot produce the Omega 3’s needed for heart health and the other benefits associated with O-3’s so we have to include those things which we can derive the oils from. Fish, nuts etc. some folks have the allergy issues to contend with so supplementation is key. in any case know what your buying and what you need.

    T. Black

  9. Seafood specially the consumption of omega 3 oil helps in the development of brain but we should also save fishes they are reducing in numbers each day

  10. I am just concerned about the main source of Omega 3 which is the liver of fish. as you can see, fishes can accumulate mercury and pcb.