More Fish Oil, Better Brain

December 04, 2022

More Fish Oil, Better Brain

I bet you knew that. But here's proof. And it makes perfect sense. This is where it is coming from. The Framingham study is just about the largest, longest-running survey of a group of average Americans we have. We are, in fact, on the third generation of participants. And this study was on those on those in mid-life. That's the key here.

What this study found was in 2,183 dementia- and stroke-free participants (mean age 46 years, 53% women, 22% APOE-e4 carriers that red cell omega three index predicted better cognitive function. The red cell index indicates the sufficiency of omega-3's in your diet. Humans can't make omega-3 fatty acids so we have to eat them. They are made by green plants. Wild caught animals, deer, elk, moose, rabbit, fish all have omega three's in them. The APOE-e4 gene is the one that predicts severe risk for Alzheimer's and 22% is about the normal representation in the population. They also showed better hippocampal volume on MRI, which correlates with less cognitive trouble. It's that simple. Conclusion, more fish oil, (omega-3 fats we can't make ourselves), better brains.

This doesn't have to sound like gobbledegook. Let's explain. Your brain is fundamentally made of plasmalogen lipids. They make up some 70% of the lipid coating in the membranes of brain cells and much the same in the interior of the 5,000 mitochondria each brain cell has. Plasmalogen lipids are the most liquid of lipids which makes our brains fragile (hence you get concussions easily and we evolved a brain floating in water and suspended by delicate little stretchy cables to cope with that.). That liquid quality allows the membranes of your brain to be able to change shape rapidly. That means you can think rapidly. See the world in real time. Hear rapidly. Use language. Indeed, we would not have evolved a central nervous system without plasmalogen lipids. That simple. And that fluidity all depends on omega fats incorporated into the plasmalogen molecule.

Omega-3 fats, you see, have 5 double bonds in them, all in cis-conformation. The cis-conformation is actually a tad unstable. If they could only flip to "trans" formation, they would be much more stable. But we all know "trans" fats are bad. That instability allows each of those double bonds to swing around. That swinging allows shape-shifting which is integral to a vesicle of neurotransmitter fusing with the synapse membrane and disgorging its contents into the synapse. All in a few nanoseconds. And each double bond confers a 30-degree bend in the molecule. With 5 double bonds, you have a virtual spiral shape. That shape can't pack tightly, which leads to more fluidity. And where do those omega fats go? They are incorporated into the plasmalogen molecule. That's where they go.


Without omega fats, you can't make plasmalogens. Humans actually incorporate more and more plasmalogens into their brains until age 50. Peak brain is age 50. But from 50 to 70, the average human loses some 20% of their plasmalogen content. (Remember, nature isn't interested much in you once you have passed on your genes, and age 50 is pretty much done with doing that.)

We know that Icelanders who eat the most omega-3 fats in the world have very low rates of depression and many other markers of healthy brains. But this study is the first for looking at mid-life french fry-eating Americans. That's when you want to be building up your brain. Once you are over 60, measuring and repairing your plasmalogens will be central to preventing cognitive decline. I'm betting on that. I'm not betting on that antibody on the news today doing anything meaningful.

www.What will Work for me. Just wait. 10 years from now Plasmalogens will finally make it to the mainstream and be acknowledged as the real way to prevent cognitive decline. All the silly drugs that are being introduced right now will be flashes in the pan. But you want to be on all the ingredients that make for a healthy plasmalogen supply. That included fish oil, lecithin, B12 and folate, NAC, and acetyl-carnitine. It takes a 30-year study to prove the effect, and that is what makes the Framingham study so valuable. That level of proof was long in coming. But your life is not a flash in the pan. We want your long life to be fulfilling, and memorable.

References: Neurology, The Atlantic, Lipids in Health and Disease,

Pop Quiz

1. Where does fish oil end up?                        Answer: At the SN-2 position on a plasmalogen.

2. What quality does that confer on the plasmalogen?                       Answer: Fluidity and the ability to shapeshift. The fundamental properties needed to make a neurological system. Rigid membranes would not do.

3. At what age do we have the highest amount of plasmalogen lipids in our brains?               Answer: Age 50. Peak brain.

4. Does it make sense that more fish oil makes for better brains?                       Answer: That's just what this study showed.

5. To make memories and keep them, you have to have a web of synapses all linked together. What is the cause of Alzheimer's?                                 Answer: the loss of synapses secondary to the loss of plasmalogens. Maintain the fish oil and the plasmalogens and your brain always wants to rebuild the memories from what you are doing and remembering each day.