Omega 3 fatty acids are commonly found in fish, seafood and some seeds. These fatty acids have been associated with improving mood, benefiting the skin (decreasing eczema and acne) and improving inflammatory conditions such as joint pain. New research is also finding that these substances may improve your IQ!
One interesting study found that aging humans who consumed higher levels omega-3s had increased gray matter brain volume and that most new tissue development was observed in the part of the brain associated with happiness.
Similar findings appeared in the journal Lancet. In a very large human study, scientists analyzed the diets of 12,000 pregnant women. The study found that children of those mothers who consumed the least omega-3 were 48% more likely to score in the lowest quartile on IQ tests.
Another study revealed when male teenagers ate fish more than once a week their combined intelligence scores were on average 12 per cent higher than those who ate fish less than once a week!!
Take the Quiz below (Adapted by Mark Hyman, MD) to find out if you are deficient in this important nutrient:
FATTY ACIDS QUIZ
- I have soft, cracked or brittle nails. yes/no
- I have dry, itchy, scaling, or flaking skin. yes/no
- I have hard ear wax. yes/no
- I have chicken skin (tiny bumps on back of arms or on the trunk) yes/no
- I have dandruff. yes/no
- I feel aching or stiffness in my joints. yes/no
- I am thirsty most of the time. yes/no
- I am constipated (have less than two bowel movements a day). yes/no
- I have light-coloured, hard, or foul-smelling stools. yes/no
- I have depression, ADHD, and/or memory loss. yes/no
- I have high blood pressure. yes/no
- I have fibrocystic breasts. yes/no
- I have premenstrual syndrome. yes/no
- I have high LDL cholesterol, low HDL levels, and high triglycerides. yes/no
- I am of North Atlantic genetic background: Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Scandinavian, or coastal Native American. yes/no
Scoring Key-Fatty Acids
|Score (number of yes answers)
|8 and above||Severe|
If you suspect you are low in omega 3 Fatty Acids talk to your Naturopathic Doctor about how to increase dietary consumption and what supplements may be best for you! It is important to use a high quality fish oil supplement to avoid contaminants such as mercury.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Emily Lipinski, ND