Omega-3 Support Mood and Brain Health
Several studies include the use of a combination of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic (EPA), two important omega-3 fatty acids, to improve brain function. Evidence from such research not only suggests benefits of omega-3 for mood, but scientists believe a regular intake of DHA and EPA may help to support brain health. In healthy people, omega-3 intake may provide proactive nutritional support to protect and promote healthy brain functions.
A recent study published in the British Journal only serves to bolster the already existing body of evidence that proposes the benefits of omega-3 for mood, behavior, cognitive and mental health. The six-month randomized controlled trial studied the effects of DHA and EPA on mood, quality of life, memory and executive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. The study was conducted with 50 participants, less than 65 years of age. Daily, participants were given a DHA, EPA or the omega-6 linoleic acid (LA).
At the end of the study, both the EPA and the DHA group showed improvement. The improvements were observed to be more significant in the group that took the DHA-enriched supplement. Participants who were given enriched-DHA supplements were also observed to have self-reported improved physical health. Researchers also noted an increase in DHA and EPA benefited mental health in older people with mild cognitive impairment. It was suggested that increasing omega-3 intake may help to improve mood and brain health. 1
Omega-3 for Cognitive Health: How does it work?
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). PUFAs are integral membrane lipids. They help to maintain the structure and function of neuronal membranes, membrane associated proteins and protein complexes. Supplementing with omega-3s incorporates PUFA into neuronal membranes thus lowering the total cholesterol fraction. This leads to increased fluidity in the membrane which is important for promoting synaptic plasticity. Synaptic plasticity is considered to be essential for learning, memory and other complex cognitive processes. DHA levels in the hippocampus have been directly associated with dietary intake. Higher levels of DHA in this region of the brain have been shown to enhance hippocampal-dependent learning processes. 2
Other Health Benefits of Omega-3s
The evidence from research studies on omega-3 fatty acids appears to be most promising for supporting cardiovascular health. But, several more studies show omega-3 benefits for supporting the immune system, joint health, healthy glucose levels, eye health and skin health. 3-4 It is also needed for the healthy development of the fetus during pregnancy and also promotes immunity. 5-7
Manufacturing Omega 3 Supplements with NutraScience Labs
Currently valued at $8 million by Packaged Foods, the omega-3 ingredient market is projected to grow 40 percent between 2010 and 2015. 8 Delivery of specific benefits of omega-3 for mood and mental health is possible only through pure-quality omega-3 supplements. Omega-3 benefits can be delivered from a variety of sources such as fish oil, krill oil or vegetarian sources, such as algae.
NutraScience Labs can help you formulate the ideal serving size of DHA and EPA to meet your customers’ cognitive health needs. We can also help you design the perfect formula to deliver other well-known benefits of omega-3s to your customers.
For more information on our supplement manufacturing services, call (855) 492-7388 to speak with one of our knowledgeable Production Specialists or you may submit your request to receive a free quote from us in 48 hours or less.
1. British Journal of Nutrition. British Journal of Nutrition, FirstView Article, Copyright The Authors 2011, DOI: 10.1017/S0007114511004788 (About DOI), Published online: 20 September 2011.
4. Arch Ophthalmol. 2011;129(7):921-929. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2011.34.