Brain Foods

Brain Foods

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Can I become smarter by taking DHA?

Can I become smarter by taking DHA?


Becoming smarter is difficult to measure. Even the results of standardized intelligence tests may be skewed by cultural and economic differences, not intellectual ones. Moreover, we now recognize many different kinds of intelligence, not just book-smarts, but also physical, emotional, social, and even spiritual intelligence. To call someone "smart" just because he gets A's in school is using a very narrow definition.

If the question is, "Can I improve my concentration, memory, focus, reasoning and problem solving abilities by taking DHA," then some indirect evidence suggests, yes, you can. Certainly, optimal brain function requires optimal health of brain cells. Knowing that the majority of brain cells is DHA, and brain cells are continuously being upgraded with new parts, getting enough DHA simply makes sense. After all, the notion that fish is brain-food must have come from some repeatable observation, as most folk-wisdom does

Previously, we noted that DHA enhanced the problem solving abilities of infants. Later we will consider studies where DHA improved mental function in the elderly. No similar studies have investigated the effects on younger and middle-aged adults. So while we cannot yet say that taking DHA will make everyone smarter, taking DHA might be a pretty smart thing to do. A definitely un-smart thing to do, as far as protecting your brain's DHA, is to drink alcohol.

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Donah Shine

Head Master

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