Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Boost Brain

Omega-3 fatty acids -- found in foods including walnuts,
flax, and fatty fish such as salmon and sardines -- may boost brain areas that
govern mood.

That's the finding from a preliminary study conducted by the University of
Pittsburgh's Sarah Conklin, PhD.

Conklin studied 55 healthy adults who completed a survey on two separate
days -- each saying what the participants had eaten the day before.
Participants also got brain scans using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Conklin focused on gray matter -- which processes information -- located in
three brain areas that regulate mood.

Participants with the highest intake of omega-3 fatty acids had the most
gray matter in those brain areas, the study shows.

But don't jump to conclusions. The study doesn't prove that omega-3 fatty
acids build gray matter. Perhaps participants with the most gray matter in
those brain areas happen to favor foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

But if omega-3 fatty acids boost gray matter, that could explain earlier
findings linking omega-3 fatty acids to mood regulation, Conklin notes.

She presented the study's results in Budapest, Hungary, at the American
Psychosomatic Society's 65th annual scientific conference.

Reviewed by Louise Chang
B)2005-2006 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved



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