by Sandeep Godiyal
Researchers have known for quite some time that fish oil is highly beneficial to optimal human health. These benefits include better brain health, which is why so many manufacturers of infant milk substitutes rushed to add both DHA and omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids found in high quantities in fish, to their products. Some recent research has shown that these benefits go beyond the developing brains of the smallest people and can help people of all ages enjoy a dramatic increase in the health of their brains.
Much needed help for severe traumatic brain injuries
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that there are about 1.7 million brain injuries each year that can be classified as traumatic. Recent research literature highlights the use of large amounts of fish oil, which is very high in omega-3 fatty acids, to help with cases of brain injury that are classified as severe.
Severely brain injured teen defies odds
One such case is Grant Virgin. The 16-year-old from Palm Desert, California, was struck by a hitand-run driver while out for a walk. His resulting injuries were severe and necessitated him having to be airlifted from the scene and rushed to a trauma center nearby. Grant’s parents were given a long list of his injuries which included a torn aorta, spinal fractures and a traumatic brain injury consisting of bleeding throughout the brain and skull fractures.
Grant’s prognosis was grim – his doctors essentially told his parents that there was nothing further that could be done for the teen. He would never walk again, nor would he even be able to recognize members of his family. There was little to no hope of him ever being able to recover. Grant spent nine weeks in acute care at the trauma center before he was transferred to a rehabilitation hospital. It was at this time that his parents began to give him high doses – 20 grams – of fish oil each day. Though they had been giving fish oil to the teen while he was in acute care, the dosage was not as high.
After just 48 hours, Grant awoke, asked for a cell phone and called his mother at midnight. She was so stunned that she thought she was dreaming until she visited the hospital the next day and discovered that a nurse had fetched a cell phone for Grant’s use the night before. Now, nearly 16 months after his accident, Grant continues to progress in his recovery.
Promise for the elderly brain as well
The developing brains of infants and teens are not the only ones who have been shown to benefit from using fish oil. Neurology, a medical journal, recently published the results of a study which showed that elderly women with high levels of omega-3s had better brain functioning. Regardless of an individual’s age, fish oil holds great promise to increase the health of their brain.