Omega 3 Fatty Acids Cross the Blood Brain Barrier

December 5, 2013

human brainNew research from Karolinska Institute in Sweden shows that omega-3 fatty acids in dietary supplements can cross the blood brain barrier in people with Alzheimer’s disease, affecting known markers for both the disease itself and inflammation. The findings are presented in theJournal of Internal Medicine, and strengthen the evidence that omega-3 may benefit certain forms of this seriously debilitating disease. Click here to read more.

This is yet another published study that demonstrates how proper fatty acid balance in the blood stream can prevent and treat diseases with an inflammatory component.  The research to date points to benefit of the essential fatty acids in the following conditions:

Cardiovascular Health

  • Endocrine influence
  • Glucose maintenance
  • Lipids and triglycerides
  • Metabolic parameters
  • Primary prevention
  • Secondary prevention

Children’s Health and Development

  • Adolescent and teen health
  • ASD – Autism spectrum disorders
  • Attention, learning, and behavior
  • Disease prevention
  • Neurological development
  • Intelligence
  • Vision

Female Health and Reproduction

  • Peri-and post-menopause
  • Pregnancy & breastfeeding
  • Puberty and menstrual years

Immune Health

  • Acute infections
  • Allergies
  • Chronic immune deficiencies

Joint and Tissue Inflammation

  • Intestinal health
  • Joint flexibility & mobility

Lifestyle and Healthy Living

  • Alcohol and tobacco use
  • Body fat/weight
  • Fitness
  • Healthful living
  • Stress

Mental/Neurological Health

  • CNS Developement
  • Cognitive function/agent
  • Depression and mood
  • Mental balance

In our concierge medical practice we test the blood for over 30 fatty acids to identify what specifically is out of balance and needs treatment. In some patients, too many of the omega 3 fatty acids can suppress important components of immune function and can promote tumor growth.  In some patients their level of trans fatty acids (hydrogenated fats) are the culprit in blocking cell to cell communication.  Other patients  may only need DHA but not GLA.  And so forth. This is why testing, and getting an individualized report on what your body needs, will lead to a more positive outcome in terms of managing your long term health.

In health,

Dr. Gina


DHA Produces Healthier Babies

March 5, 2013

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A new double-blind study that was published on line in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that pregnant women who consumed DHA (an omega 3 essential fatty acid) had larger babies, a longer gestation, and fewer preterm births.

In the study, 154 healthy women were randomly assigned to consume 600 mg of DHA per day during the second half of pregnancy and 147 women were assigned a placebo.

After the researchers adjusted for maternal education, socioeconomic status, prior pregnancy, smoking and other risk factors they discovered that the babies of the DHA mothers weighed nearly a half a pound more, were longer and had slightly larger head circumferences.  And in the group of mothers on placebo, 5% gave birth at 34 weeks or less, whereas among the DHA group, only 0.6% gave birth early. The lead author, Susan E. Carlson, a professor of nutrition at the University of Kansas, says that is a dramatic reduction in preterm labor as compared to the general population.

There were no side effects reported.

Most Americans consume too much of the other essential fatty acids (omega 6 and omega 9) and not enough of the omega 3 (which DHA is classified as). So balance here is key.  DHA is rich in sea foods and meat however I do not advise pregnant women to consume these foods in order to get DHA, as they also contain high levels of toxins (heavy metals and other environmental toxins that get stored in the animal fat).

I will often recommend the vegetarian source of DHA available on the market today, that is derived from algae. One easy way for a pregnant woman to be sure she has the right balance of essential fatty acids, including DHA is by consuming 1-2 tablespoons per day of Udo’s DHA Oil Blend while avoiding vegetable based cooking oils and packaged foods that contain oil, like chips and crackers.  Just be sure to keep the Udo’s DHA Oil Blend refrigerated and do not cook with it. Always keep it cold as the fatty acids are vulnerable to heat sources.

In health,

Dr. Gina


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