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Study: Omega-3 Oils Could Protect Against Brain Injuries

Posted on Jan 29, 2011
A new study conducted by West Virginia researchers has found that ingesting Omega-3 oils could help protect against the effects of a traumatic brain injury. Dr. Julian E. Bailes of West Virginia University in Morgantown will publish the study in the upcoming issue of Neurosurgery, which is due out next month.

In the study, a group of rats were given a dose of Omega-3 oils comparable to a human who took a standard supplement. The study found that the rats taking the highest doses of Omega-3 supplements, which were made from a type of algae, showed far less brain tissue damage than rats taking a lower dose or no dose at all. In addition, the rats who were taking the Omega-3 fatty acids produced fewer toxic proteins in their brain and spine that lead to long-term brain damage and complications later in life, such as dementia. 

Researchers have been excited by the results and say that a solid connection between Omega-3 oil supplements and recovery from head trauma would have wide-ranging public health implications.

Of course, scientists were also quick to add that more research needs to be done on the effects of Omega-3 oils on traumatic brain injury and other brain functions. Though the two have now been correlated, scientists are still not sure why the oils would benefit brain function and help with repairing tissue damage.

In the past, researchers have found that Omega-3 oils can help prevent cancer and also help fight heart disease, immune function, and inflammation.

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