A new study by researchers at UCLA has found that diets high in sugar limit your brains memory and recall functions but similarly showed that the effects can be “off-set” by increasing the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet.
The study, performed by Dr. Fernando Gomez-Pinilla and published in the Journal of Physiology, focused on the effects of sugar and high-fructose sweetener on learning abilities in lab animals. After six weeks, the researchers found that the ones given high amounts of fructose had difficulty remembering and thinking clearly while trying to escape a maze they have been learning every day. Meanwhile, the ones given the high-fructose diet along with omega-3 fatty acids via flaxseed and DHA were able to recall what they had learned and escape the maze much quicker than their sugar-high counterparts.
What does this mean for you? For one, it is wise to stop eating so much sugar! Aside from the obvious effect on weight, high amounts of regular sugar and especially high-fructose syrup in your diet damage your brain and interfere with your ability to think clearly and coherently.
Omega-3 fatty acids have long shown to have multiple positive effects on the brain. Numerous studies on DHA, docosahexaenoic acid, have shown that the omega-3 rich compound protects the chemical connections in your brain that allow for efficient and clear learning and recall. This study further reaffirms how important it is to supplement your diet with omega-3s to help protect your brain and body’s basic functions.
Even with all of the research vehemently pushing people to increase their omega-3 fatty acid intake, most Americans don’t have nearly enough in their system to really make a dent. Even people who have increased their dietary intake of omega-3s through fish, seeds, or eggs may not be getting enough to see the results. A great way to get the DHA you need to protect your brain, heart, and body is a daily krill oil supplement as it is more bioavailable than basic fish oil supplements.