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Essential fatty acids and human brain. | NIH
Essential fatty acids and human brain. | NIH

RE Brain Chemicals: Fatty Acids (Oils, Lipids)

Canadians and Americans often forget that we live in Neo-Arctic conditions, and this prolonged cold weather demands we pay special attention to our health.

"The human brain is nearly 60 percent fat. We've learned in recent years that fatty acids are among the most crucial molecules that determine your brain's integrity and ability to perform. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are required for maintenance of optimal health but they can not synthesized by the body and must be obtained from dietary sources. Clinical observation studies has related imbalance dietary intake of fatty acids to impaired brain performance and diseases. Most of the brain growth is completed by 5-6 years of age. The EFAs, particularly the omega-3 fatty acids, are important for brain development during both the fetal and postnatal period. Dietary decosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is needed for the optimum functional maturation of the retina and visual cortex, with visual acuity and mental development seemingly improved by extra DHA. Beyond their important role in building the brain structure, EFAs, as messengers, are involved in the synthesis and functions of brain neurotransmitters, and in the molecules of the immune system. Neuronal membranes contain phospholipid pools that are the reservoirs for the synthesis of specific lipid messengers on neuronal stimulation or injury. These messengers in turn participate in signaling cascades that can either promote neuronal injury or neuroprotection. The goal of this review is to give a new understanding of how EFAs determine our brain's integrity and performance, and to recall the neuropsychiatric disorders that may be influenced by them. As we further unlock the mystery of how fatty acids affect the brain and better understand the brain's critical dependence on specific EFAs, correct intake of the appropriate diet or supplements becomes one of the tasks we undertake in pursuit of optimal wellness."


"In theory, humans are able to synthesize EPA and DHA from dietary ALA, but in practice this process is inefficient. Scientists have, therefore, concluded that EPA and DHA should be obtained from diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids, which means that they are essential to human health but cannot be manufactured by the body. For this reason, omega-3 fatty acids must be obtained from food. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish and certain plant oils."

The healthiest foods follow along the Paleolithic era (when Mankind had a massive gain in brain mass due to the) diet of fish and leaves.

Foods highest in Total Omega-3 fatty acids per 100g:
Flaxseed oil
Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 53304mg

Fish oil, salmon
Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 35311mg

Oil, bearded seal (Oogruk) (Alaska Native)
Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 28556mg
Read More:Nutrition Data
Sources: National Institutes of Health (NIH) U.S. Food and Drug Administration

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