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Getting Enough Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Video)

Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to optimal brain and nervous system development in the fetus. Dr. Weil discusses how we have an imbalance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids due to our diet. Dr. Weil also suggests taking an omega-3 supplement derived from molecularly distilled fish oils that are naturally high in both EPA and DHA and low in contaminants.

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Omega-3s for a Good Night’s Sleep

A new study from the UK suggests that taking supplements of omega-3 fatty acids may improve sleep, at least among kids. For their sleep study, researchers at the University of Oxford recruited 362 children between the ages of seven and nine. The children chosen weren’t selected because they had sleeping problems, but it turned out that 40 percent of them did. The researchers outfitted 43 of the kids who weren’t sleeping well with wristband sensors to monitor their movements in bed over five nights. All the youngsters received supplements of either 600 mg of omega-3s from algal sources or a placebo, which they took for 16 weeks. The researchers reported the sleep-monitored kids given the omega-3s slept 58 minutes longer than they had in the past and awakened seven fewer times a night than the kids who received the placebo. The study found that higher blood levels of long-chain omega 3 DHA (the main omega-3 fatty acid found in the brain) are significantly associated with better sleep. Study leader Paul Montgomery noted that lower ratios of DHA have been linked with lower levels of melatonin, which he said fits in with the finding that kids with sleep problems may have lower blood levels of DHA.

Sources:
Paul Montgomery et al. “Fatty acids and sleep in UK children: Subjective and pilot objective sleep results from the DOLAB study – a randomised controlled trial.” Journal of Sleep Research, March 2014 DOI: 10.1111/jsr.12135

Omega-3s for Vegetarians (Video)

Fish are undoubtedly the best source of omega-3 fatty acids in the human diet, which poses a problem for vegetarians and vegans. Here, Dr. Joseph Hibbeln, lead clinical investigator at the National Institutes of Public Health and internationally recognized authority on the link between essential fatty acids and depression, explains what measures those who do not eat fish should take to prevent an omega-3 deficiency.