Fish Oil May Protect The Brains Of Junk Food Junkies [Study]

Robert Jonathan

Fish oil can provide some protection from the negative effects of junk food on the brain, according to a scientific literature review.

University of Liverpool researchers apparently reached this conclusion after reviewing about 185 papers about Omega-3 fatty acids.

A diet rich in Omega-3s could be a way to minimize the potentially nasty things that happen in the brain when a fast-food lover chows down on a high-fat, high sugar diet. This kind of unhealthy menu selection is believed to disrupt neurogenesis, "a process that generates new nerve cells," and could lead to obesity and other conditions.

According to Dr. Lucy Pickavance, of the university's Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, fish oil may have an indirect positive outcome for those junk food junkies who tend to make poor food choices. "Fish oils don't appear to have a direct impact on weight loss, but they may take the brakes off the detrimental effects of some of the processes triggered in the brain by high-fat diets. They seem to mimic the effects of calorie restrictive diets and including more oily fish or fish oil supplements in our diets could certainly be a positive step forward for those wanting to improve their general health."

Cautioned Dr. Pickavance for those who like their junk food: "Excessive intake of certain macronutrients, the refined sugars and saturated fats found in junk food, can lead to weight gain, disrupt metabolism and even affect mental processing."

The study was published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

A recent paper also suggested that fish oil supplementation may protect the heart in stressful situations, according to a double-blind study. Previous studies have suggested that fish oil may protect individuals from Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. For ordinary consumption, salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines are among the cold water oily fish sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Many holistic-oriented consumers also take fish oil supplements for both brain and heart health.

Even if you steer clear of junk food generally, do you try to include fish oil sources in your diet on a regular basis?