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

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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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Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

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Kanika
Kanika
August 13, 2019 10:16 am

Hello Dr, my son is 3.9yrs old and he is mild autistic and from last week he is on protocol and I have a lot of hope from this protocol after reading all the positive reviews about recovery, I have done all the food allergy test and he have allergy from most of the food we eat we r vegan and I have eliminated all allergic food from his diet. He was suffering from bad constipation and yesterday he got fever so I gave hi medicine and nw he got Dihhoria nw doc give him probiotics as well and I… Read more »

Timea
Timea
May 20, 2019 2:23 pm

Hi, Thank you for the book! I d like to ask a question. We visited a biomedical doctor and she advised to send stool , urine and dried blood samples to the US (from Ireland). She advised that inulin would feed bad bacteria as well(if my son has too many of them) , the opposite what your book says. The tests would come back in a month but the inulin and fish oil arrives this week. Would you advise to start it anyway with small quantities? We are also trying to change our diet from lot of processed food to… Read more »

Timea
Timea
May 9, 2019 12:51 pm

Hi, I just heard about this protocol and want to try it for my son. He will be 3 next month. We also have an appointment to a biomedical doctor. I purchased the book, but was unable to download it , hopefully you can send me the link again. I just read a comment below about demyelination in the brain-I’m dead for my right ear for 13 years and it continuously ringing as well, doctors said that’s the reason. Would this protocol help me to stop the ringing at least , even if I can’t get back the hearing ?… Read more »

Geri
Geri
May 7, 2019 2:15 pm

can i ask is Palm fruit oil that is in some biscuits allowed on the protocol .Is it the same as Palm Oil listed in the book.

thank you

Kristin Beauchamp
Kristin Beauchamp
April 20, 2019 3:16 am

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
April 17, 2019 2:52 pm

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
March 8, 2019 9:38 pm

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
January 25, 2019 10:11 am

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
December 5, 2018 4:59 am

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
November 26, 2018 3:21 pm

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
November 9, 2018 3:53 pm

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
October 18, 2018 5:05 pm

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
August 13, 2018 2:31 am

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… Read more »

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
September 16, 2018 7:13 pm

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.
August 3, 2018 5:53 am

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
June 2, 2018 2:31 pm

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
May 16, 2018 5:12 am

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
May 7, 2018 11:13 pm

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
May 1, 2018 5:18 pm

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
April 14, 2018 5:43 pm

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
January 25, 2018 3:50 pm

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.

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