Naturopathic Fun Facts
By Sarah A LoBisco, ND
Fish Oil and
Omega-3 fatty acids are an important building block to
healthy brain function. In a recent meta-analysis involving 699 children with
ADHD, researchers found a small but significant positive effect in children who supplemented
with high dose EPA fish oil. They concluded:
Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation,
particularly with higher doses of eicosapentaenoic acid, was modestly effective
in the treatment of ADHD. The relative efficacy of omega-3 fatty acid
supplementation was modest compared with currently available pharmacotherapies
for ADHD such as psychostimulants, atomoxetine, or α(2) agonists. However,
given its relatively benign side-effect profile and evidence of modest
efficacy, it may be reasonable to use omega-3 fatty supplementation to augment
traditional pharmacologic interventions or for families who decline other
Bloch MH, Qawasmi A. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for
the treatment of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
symptomatology: systematic review and meta-analysis (abstract).J Am Acad Child
Adolesc Psychiatry (online). 2011 Oct;50(10):991-1000. Epub 2011 Aug 12.Accessed
July 2012 at: PMID: 21961774
Spice and Fat Help Nerve Health (Science Daily)
Our not-so-furry friends provided clues into how fish oil
and curry spice might modulate degenerative nerve changes. Specifically, the
little critters on rat feed supplemented with these ingredients preserved their walking ability after spinal-cord injury!
ScienceDaily (June 26, 2012) — UCLA
researchers discovered that a diet enriched with a popular omega-3 fatty acid
and an ingredient in curry spice preserved walking ability in rats with spinal-cord
injury. Published June 26 in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, the
findings suggest that these dietary supplements help repair nerve cells and
maintain neurological function after degenerative damage to the neck.
Science Daily. Curry Spice, Omega-3 Fatty Acid Preserve
Walking Ability Following Spinal-Cord Injury. June 26, 2012. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626113930.htm?+Brain+News%29
Source Article: Holly LT, Blaskiewicz D, Wu A, Feng C, Ying
Z, Gomez-Pinilla F. Dietary therapy to promote neuroprotection in chronic
spinal cord injury. Laboratory investigation. Journal of Neurosurgery:
Spine, Published online June 26, 2012, ahead of print DOI: 10.3171/2012.5.SPINE1216
Alzheimer’s and Green Tea (J of Medicinal Food)
Another study in brain health showed the benefits of green
tea extract and l-theanine (LGNC-07) on subjects affected with
mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Specifically, the following randomized,
double-blind, placebo-controlled study compared a group of ninety-one MCI
subjects who received the brain elixir verses those who didn’t. The subjects
were evaluated by comparing pre and post cognitive exam scores along with a
brain EEG. Those who received the intervention had more favorable outcomes.
According to the researchers:
Brain theta waves, an indicator of
cognitive alertness, were increased significantly in the temporal, frontal,
parietal, and occipital areas after 3 hours in the eye-open and reading states.
Therefore, this study suggests that LGNC-07 has potential as an intervention
for cognitive improvement.
Sang-Ki Park, In-Chul Jung, Won Kyung Lee, Young
Sun Lee, Hyoung Kook Park, Hyo Jin Go, Kiseong Kim, Nam Kyoo Lim, Jin Tae Hong,
Sun Yung Ly, and Seok Seon Rho. A Combination of Green Tea Extract and
l-Theanine Improves Memory and Attention in Subjects with Mild Cognitive
Impairment: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study Journal of Medicinal Food.
April 2011, 14(4): 334-343.