12 January - 20 June 2016

Fish oil may stall effect of unhealthy food on the brain

22 May 13

Fish oils could minimise the effects that unhealthy food can have on the brain, a review by researchers at the University of Liverpool has shown.  Research indicates that eating too many refined sugars and saturated fats can disrupt the brain’s ability to control the amount of food the body should take in.  However the latest review published in the British Journal of Nutrition has found that fish oils could minimise this effect.  Research over the past 10 years has indicated that high-fat diets could disrupt neurogenesis, a process that generates new nerve cells, but diets rich in omega-3s could prevent these negative effects by stimulating the areas of the brain that control feeding, learning and memory.  Data from 185 research papers revealed, however, that fish oils do not have a direct impact on this process in these areas of the brain, but are likely to play a significant role in stalling refined sugars and saturated fats’ ability to inhibit the brain’s control on the body’s intake of food.  The research papers showed that on high-fat diets, hormones that are usually secreted from body tissues into the circulation after eating – which protect neurons and stimulate their growth – are prevented from passing into the brain by increased circulation of inflammatory molecules and a type of fat called triglycerides.  Molecules that stimulate nerve growth are also reduced.  However, it appears (in studies with animal models) that omega-3s restore normal function by interfering with the production of these inflammatory molecules, suppressing triglycerides, and returning these nerve growth factors to normal.

RSSL's Lipids Laboratory, part of the Investigative Analysis Team has expertise in all aspects of fat analysis and fatty acid profiling, including the determination of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

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