By Dr. Mercola
Omega-3 rich fish oil is one of the most well-researched nutrients on the market. Its wide ranging health benefits have been repeatedly proven, and animal-based omega-3 fats are one of the few supplements I recommend for virtually everyone to improve overall health.
It's particularly critical for your brain health, and as the featured article and my interview with JJ Virgin shows, it may even help heal and restore brain function after a traumatic brain injury. Recent research also suggests that fish oil can help slow down age-related brain atrophy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries occur in the US each year, making the prospect of utilizing fish oil very exciting. It's inexpensive, and although it does act as a blood thinner, which could be contraindicated in some instances, its side effects are virtually all beneficial.
According to leading omega-3 expert Dr. Barry Sears, there are currently seven cases in the medical literature describing the use of fish oil for traumatic brain injury—each one of them successfully so.
16-Year-Old Defies Death Following Fish Oil Treatment
The featured CNN article describes the tragedy and triumph of 16-year-old Grant Virgin, who suffered a wide range of injuries in a hit-and-run car accident. His injuries included skull fractures, spinal fractures, and bleeding throughout his brain. Doctors didn't give his parents any hope for recovery.
“Instead of shrugging their shoulders in acceptance, his parents were indignant.
‘It's like, how dare you not fight for my son's life?' said JJ Virgin. ‘It really took us… getting very aggressive and assertive to save our son's life, because they weren't going to do it… They told us to let him go,'” his mother told CNN.
“From that moment forward — time and time again — they would go against doctor's orders. That included trying unconventional, untested therapies — anything that might help Grant. One in particular involved giving him high doses of omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil). Fish oil is what the Virgin family believes ultimately — dramatically — altered his life course, and healed his brain.”
The Virgin family learned about fish oil from friends who had caught a previous CNN report about fish oil being used in cases of severe brain trauma. Grant's mother, JJ Virgin, tracked down Dr. Barry Sears who, in 2006, consulted on the case of Randal McCloy—a miner who had suffered brain injuries from carbon monoxide.
In that case, which was the first time fish oil entered the medical literature as a treatment for brain trauma, it was McCloy's neurosurgeon who called on Dr. Sears' expertise in a last-ditch effort to rescue his patient. As reported in the featured article:
“‘There is no known solution, there's no known drug, there's nothing that we have really to offer these sorts of patients,' said Bailes, co-director of NorthShore Neurological Institute in Evanston, Illinois, during a previous interview…
The theory behind fish oil as a therapeutic intervention for traumatic brain injury is at once simple and complex. Simply stated, the brain's cell wall is, in part, composed of omega-3 fatty acids.
‘If you have a brick wall and it gets damaged, wouldn't you want to use bricks to repair it?' said Dr. Michael Lewis, founder of the Brain Health Education and Research Institute. ‘By supplementing using (omega-3 fatty acids) in substantial doses, you provide the foundation for the brain to repair itself.'”
Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids. We need them for our bodies to work normally. Because essential fatty acids (ALA, DHA, EPA) are not made in the body or are inefficiently converted from ALA to EPA and DHA, we need to get them from our diet . Also, there are many different brands on market and one has to be careful and to seek information on where the fish come from and the manufacturing process of the oil before it ends up in the capsule or bottle.
Make sure to read the rest of the article at Article.mercola.