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High Omega-3, Low Omega-6 Diets Help Brains Recover

High Omega-3, Low Omega-6 Diets Help Brains Recover
April 2, 2016 Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

LA SourcesA growing body of scientific studies are suggesting that omega-3 fatty acids found in nuts, flax, wild fish, and grass fed beef can lead to the reduction of abnormal inflammation and restore a wide variety of cellular functioning within the body.

A recent study has shown that long term omega-3 fatty acid supplementation coupled with omega-6 fatty acid restriction improves cognitive function, reduces neuroinflammation (i.e., TNF-α expression), and increases brain cell production (i.e., neuronal progenitor proliferation) in mice. These results parallel and support the therapeutic benefit of high dose omega-3 therapy and omega-6 restricted diet recommended in the Autonomic Advantage Brain Recovery Program.

Omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., ALA, EPA, and DHA) are a variety of molecules important in the regulation of inflammation and cell function.  Omega-6 fatty acids (e.g., LA and AA) are also important in activating inflammation necessary for tissue repair and the maintenance of healthy tissue and organ function.  Maintaining a healthy ratio of omega-3:omega-6 fatty acids is critical in normal physical functioning, inflammation control, and long term health.

Unfortunately, Americans have experienced an explosive increase in their consumption of an omega-6 fatty acid called linoleic acid (LA), predominantly in the form of soy oil. In the 20th century, soy oil consumption increased 1000-fold.

The high intake of linoleic acid leads to decreased omega-3 levels by three mechanisms: 1) by the impairment of the conversion of ALA to EPA, 2) by the inhibition in production of DHA, and 3) by the competitive inhibition of EPA and DHA into the cell membranes.

The net effect of these changes has resulted in a significant increase in the omega-3:omega-6 ratio, and is believed to contribute a heightened level of persistent metabolic inflammation throughout the body.

Increased Progenitor Cells

Each Arrow Indicates a Stem Cell in Section of Mouse Brain

Metabolic inflammation is rapidly being linked to the inability of the brain to recovery from traumatic brain injury in addition to other forms of neuronal damage such as emotional trauma, inflammatory insults, and stroke.  Metabolic inflammation is also linked to to a wide variety of illnesses including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes mellitus, autoimmune disorders, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

Interestingly, this study also showed that an increase microglia number does not seem to be a major contributing factor, and that other mechanisms such as an increase neuronal progenitor cells and the reduction in CNS cytokine levels (TNF) activity may be more of a factor in cognitive decline and the neuroinflammatory disorders.

Understanding that the inflammatory cytokines, not the high numbers of microglia, are the problem points us in the direction that lowering inflammation is key to healing the brain after injury.

Other studies have shown that omega-3 supplementation reduces pathological microglia and astrocyte activation which occurs in post concussion syndrome, persistent traumatic brain injury, CTE, chronic depression, PTSD as well as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

In respect to patients recovering from traumatic brain injury (TBI), this study tells us that increasing omega-3 and reducing omega-6 fatty acid intakes can reduce the brain inflammation commonly found in TBI, can improve the ability to replace or repair damaged brain cells, and may potentially improve recovery of cognitive function.

Combining high omega-3 supplementation and low omega-6 fatty acid intakes with other forms of neuroinflammatory suppression is central to the success of the Autonomic Advantage Brain Recovery Program’s ability to reverse and restore underlying brain injury.

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Kristin Beauchamp
Kristin Beauchamp

Is it possible to integrate this therapy with the ketogenic diet for treatment of intractable epilepsy disorders? My son is a dose syndrome patient being seen by a team in Boston. He is on meds, CBD, and the diet, and still having dozens of seizures daily.

Jessica
Jessica

HOLA DR. TENGO UN HIJO DE 19 AÑOS, CON EPILEPSIA Y RASGOS DE AUTISMO, NO HABLA Y NO HACE NADA SOLO, HAY QUE MUDARLO, SOLO CAMINA Y SABE DONDE ESTÁ LA COMIDA, ES MUY ANCIOSO Y DELGADO, SIEMPRE SU ESTÓMAGO HACE RUIDOS. CON SU METODO TENDRÁ ALGUNA ESPERANZA DE APRENDER ? , NO TIENE DAÑO NEUROLÓGICO, ES A NIVEL COGNITIVO.
Y EL ANTIBIÓTICO SOLO SE DA UNA VEZ Y DE CUANTOS MG?.
TAMBIÉN SE LO HARÉ A MI NIETA DE 3 AÑOS DIAGNOSTICADA CON AUTISMO.
GRACIAS POR SU INVESTIGACION Y AYUDA.

Jennifer Paul
Jennifer Paul

My son had his second brain MRI today for a suspected demyelination issue. Words used in report were that the abnormality was “less extensive” than previous MRI and “interval improvement.”

He’s 2 and started Nemechek on January 18th. I’ve seen no observable gains but this report gives me hope.

Nadja
Nadja

Hello doctor. I read your book and im not sure if i understand everything 100% because my english is not so perfect. You write that when the child is using probiotic you should immediately stop the probiotics when giving inulin. My question is do you mean just probiotic like pills, powder etc or also to stop eating the food were probiotics are like yoghurt, milk, cheese etc? Because my daughter just gets vitamin d3 and k2 and is eating everything no special diet, also in kindergarten and i dont know if i have to change her diet when using the… Read more »

Linus
Linus

My girl is under 3 years. Can she go on the insulin probiotics and what brand would you recommend. Do I need to use fish oil together with this supplement to improve her gut and other immflamatons? She always have reflux and vomit frequently.

Daphne Hylton
Daphne Hylton

Dr. Nemechek,

Is it acceptable and/or beneficial to give fish that also contains omega 6 in the form of Borage oil GLA, such as the Nordic Naturals ProEFA369 on the autism protocol?

Pj bonner
Pj bonner

Hello dr I suffer from Ppms was wondering if your diet would suit me l am 59 years old and live in Ireland

Angel
Angel

Hello, I started my 2 and a half year old son on the protocol about two weeks ago. We’ve already had excellent results…much more eye contact, more present, seems to feel better, is happier, etc. He’s sleeping much less also, but seems to have much more energy. What I’m wondering is if it is ok for him to still eat bacon? I get conflicting answers when I do an internet search.

Thea Peluso
Thea Peluso

Hello Dr. Nemechek –
In your book for Autism and Developmental Disorders you provided a list of acceptable oils and those to avoid.
+ Is High Oleic Sunflower Oil (HOSO) acceptable? Could it be used in place of olive oil?
You also explained that almonds, pecans, pistachios, cashews and walnuts are good sources of ALA.
+ Are the oils from these tree nuts acceptable or are they to be avoided?
+ If these tree nut oils separate out when making their nut butters, would you discard the oil or mix it back in?
+ Would you put macadamia nuts in the same group?
Thank-you for the clarification!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Hi Dr. Nemechek, I found this comment while searching to find your opinion on this, since I was just looking at a table that indicated high oleic sunflower and safflower oil actually are 75% oleic, the same as EVOO. Is that not true? Thanks!

http://www.centrafoods.com/blog/why-choose-high-oleic-instead-of-regular-oil

Liz W.
Liz W.

Hi there! I had a stroke three years ago at 37. I have been left with complete numbness in my affected hand and near total loss of fine motor skills. I went through extensive occupational therapy and do daily weight-bearing exercises and “sensory stimulation” as directed by my therapists. A friend referred me to the Protocol and I just finished the 10-day course of rifaximin, as well as the DHA and EVOO. Would you expect to see improvement in my hemiparesis were I to continue? There seems to be so little research on nerve regrowth and regaining sensation, so I… Read more »

Óscar Corona
Óscar Corona

Dr. Nemechek

Good morning! I just want to ask you, is Carlson Fish Oil a good source of Omega-3?

Thank you!

Rebecca Yarros
Rebecca Yarros

Hi Dr. Nemechek! In your book, you went in-depth on oils we should avoid, one of which was peanut. Does this mean we should avoid peanut butter as well? Or Almond butters?

Allison
Allison

Hi Dr. Nemechek, in the book you mention palm kernel , coconut and canola oils as the acceptable oils. Is palm oil the same as palm kernel? Is it acceptable?

Natalia Marmol
Natalia Marmol

Dear Dr Nemechek, I have a bit of a confusion regarding the issue of vegetable oils, In your book you mention that people following the protocol should avoid “bad Oils” ( sunflower, soy, corn, safflower, cottonseed, grapeseed, peanut, margarine, shortening), I understood that those oils needed to be removed from the diet in order to achieve the best result. Here is my confusion, I have been told that EVVO will counteract all the bad effects that the above oils have in our bodies and therefore there is no need to avoid them in our diet. I will be so grateful… Read more »

Roshan
Roshan

Doctor my son is 6 years old.I have always seen that whenever i have given him antibiotics he seems to be fine and present.Do you think i should straight away try rifaximin and continue with inulin after that .what do you suggest. or can i use any other antibiotic?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Have you had any success in implementing your protocol in stroke patients? My father in law suffered a stroke last year. He is now struggling with aphasia, swallowing problems, emotional changes among other symptoms.

MK
MK

Forgot to add my name, show the previous comment shows up as Anonymous:) So repeating it here:

Thank you Dr Nemechek.

The only intestinal symptoms are diarrhea (Bristol type 6), multiple times a day with the fatigue, brain fog, lack of focus and interest. Have lost weight also over the past four years, I got much worse after an H Pylori treatment in 2014, though the IBS preceded that. I don’t have gas, bloating, or cramps or GERD. Mornings are the worst, most of the times, better by evening.

I will just continue the protocol. Do you think I should add/remove anything else?

MK
MK

Hello Dr Nemechek, I have IBS-D, with food intolerances, fatigue, brain fog, depression., lack of focus. I have tried various treatments and diets, and it seems like eating light food keeps things at bay a bit, but not a lot. My SIBO test showed 23 ppm, and I did take Rifaximin, but it didnt help as much as I thought it would, this was 6 months back. Blood tests for food intolerances found nothing, and doctors want me to go on low dose TCAs. I just started your protocol a week back and I will continue to do it for… Read more »

Cil
Cil

I hit my head pretty hard about 4 years ago and still get headaches in the area where I hit it. I’ve fallen into a vicious cycle of not eating fish after developing terrible histamine intolerance two years ago. Every time I eat fish, I feel nauseous, like vomiting, and get lightheaded within a few hours after. I get hives daily, sometimes from food, other times from no noticeable trigger. No IgE allergy to fish (or any other food) and I used to eat it all of the time. I know I need the omega-3s but am not sure how… Read more »

Jody
Jody

What fish oil do you recommend for children ages 5-12? We have used Nordic naturals in the past. Also, what inulin supplement do you recommend? We have four adopted children who were previously in orphanages and their guts are seriously messed up. No autism, but similar behaviors in several. Thank you!

Amber
Amber

Hi Dr. Nemechek My son is 18 with Autism mostly non verbal but can say a few words. Understands everything. Last summer he started becoming aggressive. Long story short he has Pyroluria and is now in 7th month of treatment. It has been extremely rough but lowering. He has been tested gut dybosis with bacteria . I want to start your program but in his current pyroluria treatment it calls for evening primrose oil and to refrain from omega 3. I am so confused by this which one to keep or add. Also due to his age do I go… Read more »

Lily Kalikas
Lily Kalikas

Dear Dr. Nemechek, In the last two years my 87 year old mother has gradually started to cognitively decline where it is frightening her and me. Two years ago she had a pace maker and stent procedure, also was placed on two lots of blood thinners. I have recently learnt through a radiologist that medications like blood thinners can cause memory to decline? A year ago she fell heavily into her bath tub and suffered concussion/amnesia and was hospitalized. At the time this was so severe it took her back 70years and lost the English language and who I was.… Read more »

Toni
Toni

Hi Doctor,
I’m really interested in your protocol for my son who is 2 and has autism. I’ve seen great gains through diet and a nutritionist has recommended fish oils and probiotics but I also have inulin which I’ll start once finished the probiotics. He’s taking the olive oil too. Could I ask if I should limit his egg and nut intake as they are a big part of his diet? (He’s dairy, gluten and sugar free)
Thank you

Daniela
Daniela

Instead of using fish oil, how do you feel about hemp oil which is supposed to contain a balance amount of omega-3, six and nine.?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Can you list the top omega 6 foods to avoid please?

Marge Reynolds
Marge Reynolds

I wrote a week or so ago about possible appointment and did not get a response. Could you check and see why no reply and let me know please?

Thank you

Michelle Adams
Michelle Adams

I live in NJ I have Blue Cross Blue Sheid. Can you assist me from NJ?

william harrison
william harrison

Dr. Nemechek is a modern day Einstein. Einstein looked at people’s research and came up with new revolutionary ideas.

“Combining high omega-3 supplementation and low omega-6 fatty acid intakes with other forms of neuroinflammatory suppression is central to…” is a profound discovery.

For those of us who want improvements in health, follow Dr. Nemechek’s http://www.nemechekconsultativemedicine.com and then make an appointment to see him in Buckeye, Arizona. His is one of a kind, a tremendous resource, a doctor who practices real medicine for the right reasons!

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