Monday, July 16, 2007

Column 8

We glided into 2007 as it was something of nothing. Celebrations 360degrees around! I hope all of you had a great time and I wish you again all the best for your health through good nutrition this year and the years to come.
Did you know that our brains consist of 60% fat?
Health Info:
DHA – High Unsaturated Omega 3 Fat
30% of the brain is DHA.
It’s important in the production and composition of our neurons and synapses in the brain.
DHA influences the speed of our thinking and the speed in the transportation of electro impulses.
It helps the learning and concentration capabilities to get better.
It is believed also by many that our brains decay. That after time our brains get slower, get smaller and that diseases like dementia and Alzheimer come with age through the decay of our brains. This decay is believed to come from the disappearance of the so called synapses.
These synapses, which are made of DHA as one of the main building blocks, disappear after time and need to be renewed and replaced often. If we then do not have enough DHA in the blood but instead more other fatty acids, the brain will get deprived of the essential building blocks.
However, at all times of our lives we renew our synapses in the brain and regenerate it at a constant pace, given we have enough building blocks available. Even till very old age!! This is good news!!
How good one learns or how well a person remembers depends from the fat composition in our blood. DHA is highly concentrated in the synapses. When getting old the auto production capabilities of DHA from Alpha – Lynolic Acids in the body diminishes. The transitional fats and a large amount of omega 6 fatty acids block the production process of DHA. Again here we see that eating less animal fats and omega 6 rich fat sources can help also the regeneration of our brains!
On top of this is, is it a fact that the consumption of alcohol influences the decay of the brain even faster. It is so that alcohol is one of the only substances that can cause the reduction of DHA in the brain. When consuming lots of alcohol for long periods of time this happens more often; hence do lots of alcoholics loose their mental sharpness as the synapses in the brain do not have enough DHA at their disposal. Through animal tests it has become clear that even small amounts of alcohol can cause the destruction of the DHA. Because of this, pregnant women that drink alcohol will get children with brain deficiencies; the first 90% of the brain is made in the first 9 months of our lives. Alcohol also blocks the production of DHA form omega 3 fatty acids.
When it comes to depressions it seems that eating lots of Omega 3 fatty acids through for example fatty fish diminishes depression. This is seen by the Japanese which eat 15 times more omega 3 fatty acids then the Americans and statistics have shown that the Japanese have ten times less depressions then the Americans.
When growing older the possibility to make DHA in the body diminishes, through this the depression rate at older ages of the population increases; 44% of the elder in America suffer from depressions whilst the fish eating Japanese only have 2%.
Eskimos actually do not know depressions, heart attacks nor “the winter blues”. Eskimos are the only population in the world where the heart attack rate is virtually zero. This is a direct result of them eating so much fatty fish from cold waters, rich in omega 3!
To go even a bit further, in studies it has come out that children with lower levels of omega 3 fatty acids in the blood were often more aggressive even worse: they had learn and concentration difficulties. In treatments with alpha – lynolic acids and DHA did the aggression, hyperactivity, mood-swings, and learning difficulties diminish after a couple of months. And this is possible also in adolescents, adults and the elderly; actually it is possible at any age!!
Sounds good?
Indeed, at all times then we need to give our brains what it needs. Depriving the brain from its essential fatty acids can easily be prevented! Eating cod liver oil or rich omega 3 foods can help.
For those who do not like to eat fish there are always the omega 3 capsules available from the pharmacy. Most of these even have extra vitamin E inside.

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