Latest News » Omega-3 fatty acids may promote brain health by cancelling out junk food impact

Omega-3 fatty acids may undo the damage of a high-fat diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids are well-known to provide nutrition for the mind, and are responsible the widespread perception of fish as "brain food." Studies have shown that these compounds, known as essential fatty acids because of the vital role they play, can provide memory support and even boost mood.  Recently, researchers have discovered another benefit of omega-3s: Aiding weight loss.

Obesity is a global concern, largely because it leaves individuals more susceptible to potentially life-threatening conditions like heart disease and diabetes. According to a press release published by ScienceDaily, scientists from the University of Liverpool in England have found that consuming omega-3 fatty acids – whether through meals or in supplement form – may be able to undo the effects that high-fat diets have on certain neurological processes.

"Excessive intake of certain macronutrients, the refined sugars and saturated fats found in junk food, can lead to weight gain, disrupt metabolism and even affect mental processing," said Dr. Lucy Pickavance, a lead investigator involved with the study, adding that these alterations could be seen in the brain structure of overweight individuals.

"Research, however, has suggested that omega-3 fish oils can reverse or even prevent these effects," she explained.

Dr. Pickavance and her team came to this conclusion after reviewing 185 past studies conducted on the subject. They ultimately found that, though omega-3 fatty acids don't directly facilitate weight loss, they may address some of the brain-based changes that high-fat diets can spur.

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