Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA are most common in fish and fish oil, but you can also find them in some other foods. They are important parts of cell membranes and are found in large amounts in fish and fish oil. Cell membranes get much stiffer as we age, which is a normal part of the process. This can hurt the way that tissues all over the body, including the brain, work.
DHA, which is the main polyunsaturated fat in the central nervous system, may be the best thing for the brain of all. DHA seems to have a very direct effect on how the brain works, grows, and changes. DHA is important for both kids and adults, but it is even more important for kids than sitcoms are for prime time TV. Omega-3 fatty acids are most commonly found in cold-water fish and fish oils, but they can also be found in varying amounts in other foods, such as walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, flaxseed, and eggs.
Omega-3 fatty acids seem to protect the brain, which is why many doctors suggest taking an omega-3 supplement, usually fish oil because it has a lot of dha and epa that is easily absorbed (flax and other sources have to be converted in the body instead of being directly assimilated).
A lot of clinical research has been done on the benefits of omega-3 dietary supplements (especially fish oil) for people with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, like arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, and heart disease, but not just those. This research goes back to Greenland in the 1970s and further. Some, if not most, of the placebo trials of fish oil for inflammatory conditions show significant benefits, such as a decrease in the severity of the disease and a lower need for anti-inflammatory drugs overall.
Because omega-3 fatty acids are so important to growth and development throughout a person’s life, they should be a part of everyone’s diet.