Another good reason to eat that fatty fish!
Fish oil contains fats called omega 3 fats which have reached superstar status in the health and wellness communities. Increased consumption has been shown to help prevent heart attacks, strokes and diabetes. The use of fish oil has been proven to help people who suffer from arthritis and can also be helpful to those who have high cholesterol and blood pressure, too.
Fish Oil to Counteract Alcohol
A diet rich in fish oil and omega 3 fatty acids is recommended for overall health. However, recent evidence published in the journal PLOS ONE promotes fish oil, containing omega 3 fats, for a whole new reason. The study showed that fish oil could have a positive effect on the brain cells of people who drink too much alcohol.
Alcohol is hard on your body, and the more you drink, the worse it is. Drinking alcohol in large quantities damages brain cells and induces higher levels of inflammation and free radical damage in the brain. This can lead to the development of degenerative brain diseases such as dementia.
Alcohol, Fish Oil and Brain Health
The research team used rats and exposed their brains to the equivalent of four times the legal driving limit of alcohol. This level is considered to be an accurate representation of the average blood level of alcohol typically found in an alcoholic.
The brain cells of these rats were then compared with the cells of rats that were also exposed to the same concentration of alcohol but with the addition of omega 3 fats found in fish oil.
Astonishing results showed 90% less inflammation and cell death in the rat brain cells that were treated with the omega 3 fats!
Study author, Michael Collins, suggested that fish oil has the potential to preserve brain integrity in chronic alcohol abusers. But he was also quick to mention, “We don’t want people to think it is okay to take a few fish oil capsules and then continue to go on abusing alcohol.”
No Binge Drinking, Please
Obviously, I don’t think you should go out and binge drink ever, at any time. Drinking too much and thinking there is a magic pill you can pop to reverse the damage is simply incorrect. Drinking has potential for more than just inflammation in your brain, but even binge drinking on occasion can be extremely dangerous to your heart, brain and liver, and can even increase your risk for all types of cancers.
Omega 3 fats in fish oil can reduce inflammation in brain cells overall and reduce free radical damage. Keep in mind these results should be applied alongside a good health regimen that includes proper diet and exercise. It is always a good idea to include fish oil and omega 3 fatty acids as a part of your daily health routine.
McNamee, D., “Can fish oil protect against brain damage caused by alcohol abuse?” Medical News Today website, July 18, 2014; retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.