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Can fish oil help heal brain injuries? Part 1

In 2010, a 17-year-old boy was driving on a winding road when he lost control of his car and careened off the road. When paramedics arrived at the scene of the car accident, the teen was in a coma as a result of the massive brain injuries he had suffered in the crash. He remained in that coma for several weeks, with doctors able to do little but keep him stable and simply wait for his brain to recover.

But the boy's parents were not satisfied with merely waiting. Eager to speed his recovery, they did some research and learned of an innovative, holistic treatment method that had successfully helped heal another man's massive brain injury. That treatment was fish oil.

Comprised of omega-3 essential fatty acids, fish oil is something that many Americans take on a regular basis to benefit their cardiovascular systems and improve their overall health. But many researchers and medical professionals believe that fish oil can also play an essential part in helping the brain heal from a trauma such as that suffered by the teen during his car accident.

In the previous case, a 26-year-old man had suffered massive brain injuries while trapped in a mine for 41 hours. During his time underground, the man was exposed to noxious gases such as carbon monoxide and methane, which had caused his brain to suffer serious damage. Once he was stabilized, his doctors began administering 20 grams of omega-3 fish oil each day. To compare, the average supplemental dose is 2 grams per day.

Soon, the man began to show signs of recovery. He soon emerged from his coma, and three months later he was walking and talking.

We will continue our discussion of this topic in a second blog post next week.

Source: CNN, "Fish oil helped save our son," Stephanie Smith, Oct. 19, 2012

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