I am annoyed and tired of seeing the fraudulent advocates out there, such as Professor Brain Peskin, claim that we don’t need to supplement with DHA. This is false. The confusion concerning this subjected is immense and overwhelming. Thankfully though, many vegan and plant-based professionals are quoting the research and suggesting people take algae-derived DHA—if they happen to be vegan. A recent study highlighted by Dr. Greger, MD, cites that participants had bigger brains by consuming supplemental DHA compared to the control group. The researchers followed people over time. After 5 years, the MRI brain scans of those taking DHA looked “noticeably healthier.” Hence the size of our brains start shrinking at around age 20.
Obtaining adequate omega-3 derivatives for brain health is difficult without taking supplemental DHA and EPA. The body has a hard time converting short-chain omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid “ALA”) into two long-chain derivatives: (1) docosahexaenoic acid (“DHA”) and (2) eicosapentaenoic acid (“EPA”). It does convert some, but at a poor rate between 1-5 percent. Thus DHA makes up almost half of the 70-percent fatty tissue in the brain, making it vital and necessary for cognitive health.
DHA is also found in the eye, and the 7.2mg intake that Peskin allegedly claims is all the brain takes in a day—is false. He cites a 2009 study of positron emission technology that looks at circulating DHA in the brain. After searching this article to confirm his finding, I find NO SUCH FACT.
Brian Peskin has been in trouble with the State of Texas, when the Attorney General charged him with making false claims about his credentials as a ph.D as well as health claims about three products he marketed with his company. Peskin quickly agreed to an injunction to cease these acts. In addition, I know of two research articles he published that got retracted for various reasons from two academic journals: The Journal of Lipids and Food and Nutritional Sciences (FNS). Here are the following retracted articles with explanations:
Food and Nutritional Sciences: RETRACTED: Why Fish Oil Fails to Prevent or Improve CVD: A 21st Century Analysis
My Own Subjective Experience with DHA
From my own account I have seen profound cognitive benefits since returning to my regular fish oil consumption. I take a pharmaceutical grade cod liver oil from Garden of Life, which is cheaper than the vegan algae DHA capsules I have taken before. Cod liver oil also contains vitamins A (retinol) and D. Thus I have since then abandoned the “vegan” label and now refer to myself as “plant-based.”
I never liked the stigma attached to veganism because it often infers to a twisted worldview of Green New Deal politics and overly excessive care for animals—to the point of placing them before humans. That said I am a sincere supporter of animal welfare, and quite honestly—I feel sober by not consuming animal products like that of a carnivore. Call it compassion, or my recognition of living beings and the right to life. It’s just naturally how I feel.
Further, I feel smarter and more cognitive overall in my ability to speak fluently, in which words more easily come to me, and my vigor to read and write. I don’t seem to struggle putting sentences together as I sometimes did just a few weeks ago after taking a break from DHA and EPA supplementation to see how I felt.
The claim that vegans, vegetarians and everyone else doesn’t need to supplement with long-chain omega-3 fats is just wrong and dangerous. You are cutting yourself short of optimal health in so many ways. The brain is all you have to make wise executive decisions in the prefrontal cortex, recall memories, and use the language and mathematical centers to compose music and think critically. No wonder the vegans I know who seem to have a hard time speaking in logical complete sentences don’t take DHA. I am not making this up. Aside from the vast majority of Americans who likely don’t eat enough fatty fish with DHA (salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc.), the many health nuts who don’t believe in consuming animals products think their brains are fine. They are wrong.
These claims and statements are my honest account from both subjective and objective experience. I surely do believe that short-chain omega-3 supplementation is necessary for ideal brain health.
*Disclaimer: These claims and statements are the opionion of the author and are not intented to treat, diagnose or cure a disease. For medical advice seek the help of a certified medical professional.