Thursday, July 28, 2011

Improving your life with Fish Oil

I have always been rather skeptical of the quick cures and solutions in a pill that get promoted for various things like weight loss, hair restoration and autism. So when I read that Fish Oil had some efficacy in helping with autism I had to investigate. Turns out that it might help and I would suggest you look into it as a potential and inexpensive (compared to psychoactive medications) addition to your diet.

In the April issue of Human & Experimental Toxicology, Taha A Kumosani and Said S Moselhy found that the use of Cod Liver Oil helped increase levels of DHA and EPA fatty acids in the brains of rats. This in turn caused significant changes in the acetylcholine & norepinephrine neurotransmitters similar to medications used for treatment of depression, OCD, Alzheimer's and ADHD. This neurotransmitter activity is seen primarily in the hypothalamus though the additional benefits to Na+/K+-ATPase and Ca2+ ATPase can improve the circulatory system.

Considering that medications like donepezil (a.k.a. Aricept) show similar functions, though much more targeted-- as described by J. Helen Yoo, Maria G. Valdovinos and Dean C. Williams in the October 2007 issue of the Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders-- the addition of Fish Oil can be viewed as a potential alternative with fewer side effects. Still it is worth noting that the actions of Fish Oil have a limit to their effectiveness so medication may still be indicated. If you are going to try the homeopathic route first keep in mind that it might not work or work as well as needed.

For dosing regarding Fish Oil in adults start with ~1000 mg a day and look for improvement. At about 3000 mg you will have capped out and if you have not seen the desired improvements by this time it is likely you should try another course of action. Above 3000 mg and your blood may have issues clotting. Additionally there has been no official governmental sanction that it will work, only peer reviewed studies indicating it might work. Here is the National Institute of Health's statements on the benefits of Fish Oil:

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