It is very popular to recommend fish oil for your brain to reduce the risk of dementia, memory loss or cognitive decline. This article is very timely since I have seen the power of the "75% packed greens diet" (smoothies and salads) mixed with added flax and/or chia seeds benefit many chronic conditions.
Fish oil provides preformed EPA and DHA. Flax and chia seeds provide alpha linolenic acid (ALA) which can be converted by the body into EPA and DHA.
This study showed that serum α-linolenic acid was inversely associated with risk of disabling dementia (serum levels high - dementia low). The other omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA usually from fish) were not correlated at all with disabling dementia.
Take home message. It would be very reasonable to have a few tablespoons of flax and/or chia seeds daily. Either ground fresh (not pre-ground) or broken up with a high speed blender or chewed well with your teeth to get your serum levels of ALA up (not flax oil).
Also health professionals and researchers should be measuring not just EPA/DHA levels but also ALA levels in dementia, heart disease and other inflammatory conditions because if ALA is the key fatty acid then we don't have to wipe out fish populations consuming or processing EPA/DHA, we can get the benefit in plant-based foods that are easily accessible and not disruptive to our ecosystems to produce and consume.
Be and Stay Well,