Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil, have been reported to relieve migraine headaches, although the only such study was relatively small. The dose of omega-3 fatty acids was 6 grams taken daily as a preventive treatment for migraines. A recent study published in Neurology shows another reason to take fish oil. Researchers at UCLA measured levels of omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA in red blood cells of 1,575 healthy people with an average age of 67 +/- 9 years. They discovered a strong correlation between low levels of DHA and EPA and shrinking of the brain as well as impaired cognitive function even in people without any signs of dementia. High fish intake has been associated with reduced risk of death from heart disease and strokes and this study shows another highly beneficial effect of omega-3 fatty acids.

5 comments
  1. Debbie says: 04/12/20124:24 pm

    I take 3 grams per day of omega-3 fish oil caplets both to prevent migraine and for general health. I never really knew how much to take, bottle says 1 – 5 grams per day. I always wondered what the dose would be to prevent migraine. Would you recommend taking 6 grams per day for migraine prevention or do you think this study is too small? Are there side effects or risks to taking such a large dose?
    Thank you for this excellent and informative blog!

  2. Dr. Mauskop says: 04/12/20124:34 pm

    One gram (1000 milligrams) of fish oil usually provides 200-300 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. So, if you take 6 grams of fish oil, you get about 1,200-1,500 mg of omega-3s, which is not excessive. For comparison, a tablespoon (10-15 grams) of cod liver oil contains about 2000-3,000 mg of omega-3s. As a child I was given a tablespoon every morning in the kindergarten.
    I am glad you are finding the blog helpful – thank you for letting me know.

  3. Cristy says: 10/16/20127:22 pm

    Thank you for sharing this and helping headache sufferers find out about new scientific research that could benefit us. I found this post by searching for information relating Omega 3 in fish oil with headache prevention, after reading about Omega 3 in The Depression Cure. With depression and headache disorders being comorbid and both related to serotonin, it seemed worth pursuing. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

  4. Melissa says: 11/07/201212:08 pm

    Thank you for this blog. I have had new persistent daily headache for 2.5 years. What dose do you recommend to try and combat this? I am otherwise healthy and have tried at least a dozen drugs on the market.
    Thanks again!

  5. Dr. Mauskop says: 11/07/20126:01 pm

    One study that showed some effect for the prevention of episodic migraines used 6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. It is important to check the label for the amount of omega-3s – the capsule may say 1,000 mg of fish oil, but the amount of the omega-3 is actually much smaller.

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