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Re: Old fish oil study

Posted by Larry Hoover on January 31, 2003, at 17:04:40

In reply to Re: Old fish oil study Creaky_Neurons, posted by Eddie Sylvano on January 31, 2003, at 16:08:11

> > the effect (to me) is not massive, but it is real,
> > especially when combined with an AD. there are even reports of hypomania.
> ----------------
> Interesting. I was wondering something else along those lines... If these fatty acids enhance neural transmission, is it possible that they might exacerbate conditions such as epilepsy?

If anything, I'd suggest that fish oil would inhibit epileptic neural transmission. Synapses transmit both excitatory and inhibitory impulses, and epilepsy is arguably the loss of inhibitory signalling, which nonetheless requires a neuron to "fire" to inhibit the next neuron down the line.

The omega-3 fatty acids in the fish oils increase membrane fluidity, which is believed to make neurotransmitter receptors more able to respond to stimuli. DHA in particular has also been found to enhance intra-neuronal signalling strength (i.e. within a neuron with activated receptors), via second-messengers like G-proteins. There is also speculation that chemical products derived from membrane-bound omega-3s are themselves signalling compounds within neurons, affecting gene expression.

I can't think of a reason for omega-3s leading to adverse brain function *in the long term*, though short-term effects like insomnia and mood destabilization are fairly common. There is so much interplay between regulatory systems within the brain that disturbing the balance of one system will invariably require adjustments in others, which do take time to reach balance again.





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