Omega-3 (EPA & DHA)

Omega-3 (EPA & DHA)
By Jonathan Roseland

I'm not a doctor, medical professional, or trained therapist. I'm a researcher and pragmatic biohacking practitioner exercising free speech to share evidence as I find it. I make no claims. Please practice skepticism and rational critical thinkingYou should consult a professional about any serious decisions that you might make about your health. Affiliate links in this article support Limitless Mindset - spend over $150 and you'll be eligible to join the Limitless Mindset Secret Society.

As one of the four major categories of recognized nootropics, this family of fatty acids is essential to those seeking a Limitless mind and body

Supplementing DHA and EPA are two primary building blocks of the brain and are needed daily to maintain a balanced psyche.

This article is mostly going to focus on decoding what the human studies are saying about Vitamin B12 and how this squares up with the anecdotal experiences of Biohackers online. For more of my own personal experiences, thoughts, and comparisons please see the written and video reviews in the sidebar.

These two fatty acids have a variety of neurological benefits, a 2005 study (European Journal of Clinical Investigation) showed omega-3 had cognitive performance-boosting effects in healthy individuals. A very extensive study, conducted in the Netherlands by University Medical Center Utrecht lasted from 1995 to 2000 and involved over 1600 middle-aged adults. It involved testing memory, cognitive flexibility, psychomotor speed, and overall cognition. The result of this mammoth study was that diets high in EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) were inversely related to the risk of generally impaired cognitive ability. These fatty acids are also essential to membrane fluidity in the brain which is a major factor of mood.

DHA vs EPA

Boundless bookBen Greenfield, in his exhaustive biohacker manifesto, compares the two...

Like DHA, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) is an omega-3 fatty acid that’s highly available in algae and oily fish, as well as in fish oil. EPA levels in the brain are typically 250 to 300 times lower than DHA levels, so it is not as critical for neuronal health, but it still plays a role in protecting your cells in general and your neurons in particular. EPA helps improve the strength of cell membranes and influences behavior and mood. (p.138)

I am often asked what the healthiest fish oil is. A good general rule is to first look for a fish oil supplement that contains a 1:1 ratio of DHA to EPA since the additional DHA results in a ratio closer to what you find in many cold-water fish. (p.457)

Vs Inflammation

the anti-inflammatory properties of these omega-3 fatty acids make them important for physical recovery, too. Omega-3s—found in cold-water fish, algae, and fish oil—can increase muscle protein synthesis (p.456)

For Recovery

When I am injured or in need of more recovery, I treat myself to 20 to 30 g per day, a “megadose” of fish oil (which many folks in the biohacking community also swear by for cognitive clarity). (p.457)

Vs Schizophrenia

Those suffering from Schizophrenia have low omega-3 and omega-3 levels. EPA has been demonstrated to help those suffering from Alzheimer's and statistically significant improvement for those who are depressed, in fact, a Chinese study of 100 suicide attempt patients showed that their EPA levels were significantly lower than the individuals in the non-suicidal control group. Supplementation of EPA has also been shown to be modestly effective in helping those with ADHD (Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Pages, 2011).

Sources

Omega-3 fatty acids come in these forms: fish oils, squid oil, algal oil and some plant oils, echium oil, and flaxseed oil. The diet of the western world is notoriously biased towards Omega-6 and Omega-9 oils so those seeking to reach their greatest mental potential should either eat fish daily or have a daily regimen of fish oil supplements. It's even more important for vegans and vegetarians to supplement EPA and DHA, both are produced synthetically in a lab along with occurring in nature.

it’s important to take into consideration whether the fish oil is in ethyl ester (EE) or triglyceride (TG) form. The TG form is best, hands down. This is the form found in nature; in fact, over 98 percent of all fats ingested from any natural food are in TG form. When you take fish oil in EE form, the free fatty acids must be reconverted into TGs before they can enter your bloodstream. This leads to far less absorption (p.457)

Supplementing omega-3 couldn't be more cost-effective with one-month supplies of the highest quality fish oil supplements costing $15-$25.

If you find yourself in a vitamin shop confused by all the fish oil supplements on display, questioning which are actually the pure, non-rancid stuff you want reach for a bag of Spirulina or Chlorella instead...

While they are slightly pricier than fish oil and most plants, consuming spirulina or chlorella, or both, may be the most effective tactic. (p.139)

Krill Oil

Head Strong bookHead Strong by Dave Asprey makes the case that optimizing your Mitochondria is the ultimate performance-enhancing Biohack because your Mitochondria are the fundamental energy generation mechanism that underlies everything else. From the book:

EPA is a powerful anti-inflammatory, while DHA is the primary structural fatty acid in your brain, your retina, and your central nervous system and is essential for brain development. (p. 93)
I recommend krill oil over fish oil. Krill oil is more stable and is phosphorylated, meaning it’s easier for your brain to use. It also contains astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant shown to improve mitochondria. (p. 97)

And in his follow-up book, Fast This Way, Asprey writes about fish and Krill oil...

This is a tricky one. Small doses of high-quality fish oil reduce inflammation, improve brain function, boost mood, suppress anxiety and depression, enhance muscle growth, and even work as a sleep aid. But poor-quality fish oil or long-term high doses can cause more problems than they solve. You also need to be choosy, because not all fish oil is created equal. Most of the brands you are likely to find at your local supermarket or your corner drugstore are contaminated, oxidized, and generally not very potent. If you cannot find a high-quality fish oil, you are better off avoiding it altogether. (p. 192)

Downloadable Krill Oil?

You may be interested in taking it as an infoceutical - a non-pharmacological, side-effect-free version of the supplement that takes advantage of the phenomenon of water memory - which is imprinted on water via quantum collocation and electromagnetism using this device...

Infocueticals typically have 1/3 or half the effect of the actual medicine being imprinted. If you're skeptical of Infopathy that's understandable, it's a game-changing application of a little-known scientific phenomenon. But I'd urge you to evaluate the scientific evidence (presented in my biohacker review) that downloadable medicine is no longer science fiction...

The Inuits' Nootropic?

The health benefits of omega-3 were the first highlighted by researchers in the 1970s who were studying the Greenland Inuits. This group of indigenous peoples had virtually no occurrences of heart diseases, they consumed massive amounts of fish and corresponding fish oil fats. High levels of omega-3 reduce triglycerides, blood pressure, heart rate, and atherosclerosis. Cardiovascular health is directly proportional to our brain health because our brain is so dependent on the cardiovascular system for delivering oxygen.

Natural Sources

The most common dietary source of DHA and EPA is slimy, cold-water fish. These fish don't synthesize the fatty acids, they obtain them from algae or plankton. Here are the approximate gram amounts of n-3 per standard serving 3oz (85gram) of the healthiest fish:

  • Herring, Sardine 1.3G - 2G Per Serving
  •  Spanish Mackerel 1.1G - 1.7G Per Serving
  •  Salmon 1.1G - 1.9G Per Serving
  •  Tuna 0.21G – 1.1G
  • Canned Tuna 0.17G – 0.24G Per Serving
  •  Halibut 0.60G – 1.12G Per Serving
  •  Swordfish 0.97G Per Serving
  •  Greenshell/lipped mussels 0.95G Per Serving
  •  Tilefish 0.9G Per Serving

What about metal poisoning from eating seafood?

Many people may have heard that fish can contain high amounts of metals that may not be healthy. There is some truth to this, however in 2006 researchers from Harvard's School of Public Health did an extensive review of this, they reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that the long-term health benefits of eating fish frequently far outweigh the potential risks.

Photos

Omega-3 (EPA & DHA)
Omega-3 (EPA & DHA)
Omega-3 (EPA & DHA)
Omega-3 (EPA & DHA)
Omega oils sources - from "Boundless" by Ben Greenfield

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