The BART Foundation aims to promote better outcomes for brain injury survivors by answering three questions – which alternative therapies are likely to work, where can they be found, and how can they be afforded? One of the ways we fulfill our mission is by carefully watching global research and clinical trial outcomes and sharing that information, in user-friendly language, with the TBI/ABI community.
Omega 3 oil supplementation is one of the safe alternative therapies that we at the BART Foundation believe may result in better outcomes for brain injury survivors, and this recent research article supports this therapy’s use and is applicable to both the TBI/ABI community and the wider population.
Omega‐3 Fatty Acids Associated with Blood-Brain Barrier Integrity
In aging populations, omega‐3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been associated with better cognitive function, slower rates of cognitive decline, and a lower risk of developing dementia. Animal studies have shown that diets rich in omega‐3 PUFAs reduce blood–brain barrier (BBB) disruption associated with aging, but this has yet to be observed in humans.
As published in Brain and Behavior, forty‐five healthy subjects (mean age, 76 years) were recruited and underwent cognitive assessment (verbal learning and memory, language, processing speed, executive function, and motor control) and measurement of PUFAs. Forty of the same subjects also underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure BBB integrity. Researchers found significant correlations between long-chain omega‐3 levels and BBB integrity, providing evidence of a possible mechanism by which omega‐3 may contribute to brain health.
Omega-3 Fish Oils: a Safe Alternative Therapy for All
Omega-3 fish oils are one of the safe, alternative therapies the BART Foundation believes may help brain injury survivors. Dr. Michael Lewis, a thought leader in this area of research, recommends only using fish oils that have been double distilled, and preferably reconstituted in their original triglyceride form. In a recent video interview with The BART Foundation, Dr. Lewis explains how Omega 3 oils help the brain recover. Dr. Lewis advocates for Omega-3’s use, under a physician’s supervision, as a treatment for a range of acquired brain injuries.
Barlean’s Oils, a source of premium quality essential oils, has generously agreed to make its oils available at a steep discount to ABI survivors who find themselves on a tight budget. Details of this unique charitable program, including how one qualifies for the discount, are available from Barlean’s at 1-800-445-FLAX. Be sure to mention “The BART Foundation’s Discount” when you speak with a customer service representative.