Did you know one of the major building blocks of the brain is the omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)? Both are crucial for optimal brain health throughout all stages of life from the neurological and visual development in infants all the way through to prevention of ailments such as depression, postnatal depression and even Alzheimer’s disease.
During pregnancy the growing foetus requires DHA for brain development therefore it is essential that pregnant women emphasise DHA in their diets from when they become pregnant and continue to take this until they cease breastfeeding. Children continue to need DHA to support optimal brain development up until the age of 5, so they should take an omega-3 supplement, containing DHA. An exception to this is for children with developmental problems – where pure EPA or high EPA omega-3 has been shown to be most effective for supporting cognitive function.
Between the ages of five and 65, where a balanced diet is consumed and good health is maintained the majority of the body’s needs can be met by using EPA-rich oils and eating fish, marine products, organic greens and pastured animal products.
There is a strong correlation between low EPA levels in adolescents and adults and the development of mental health issues, including depression, dyslexia and dyspraxia, heart problems, joint and bone conditions, as well as neurodegenerative diseases such as MS and Parkinson’s.
In later life, maintaining high levels of EPA and DHA has been shown to lower the risk of developing and worsening cognitive decline and dementia.
Even though EPA and DHA are produced by water plants such as algae and are prevalent in marine animals it can be challenging to get the appropriate intake of DHA and EPA through our diets alone making it is necessary to obtain adequate amounts through fish and fish-oil products.
At Mornington Chinese Medicine we stock BioCeuticals Omega Sure Liquid Fish Oil which is a fantastic concentrated source of EPA and DHA. Chat to us next time you are in the clinic if you think a fish oil product might be of benefit to you!
Interested in an appointment with one of our Practitioners at Mornington Chinese Medicine? Give us a call today on (03)59736886!