In 1993, the Bee Gees crooned in "Omega Man": "I'm the Omega Man/Stand tall and understand/Everybody needs a plan."
That could be the theme song of omega-3s these days. When a study came out in the journal Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy saying that high doses of fish oil are correlated with the onset of atrial fibrillation (a heart rhythm disorder that can lead to stroke), people started discounting the amazing benefits of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in omega-3s.
That's a mistake. Fortunately, we have a plan for getting the benefits of omega-3s.
First, let's review what a supply of dietary omega-3 DHA from salmon, sardines, sea trout, herring, and anchovies can do for you. There's no dispute that it helps lower your risk for heart attack, heart disease, and death from cardiovascular disease.
It's also good for the brain, helping protect against stroke and dementia, and can ease symptoms of mild depression. A study in the journal Translational Psychiatry even shows that adolescents with higher levels of DHA at age 17 are 56% less likely to become psychotic at age 24.
As for taking omega-3 supplements: A new study finds that children born to moms who took DHA-rich fish oil while pregnant have faster processing speed when solving complex problems, and better results in attention tests at age 10.
For moms-to-be and everyone else — especially if you don't eat fish — we recommend asking your doctor about taking low- or moderate-dose supplements made from algal oil. That's fish's source of omega-3s too.