Omega-3s for Brain Health: A Deep Dive into Memory, Cognition, and Neurological Benefits

Written by: Brilliant Staff

Fact checked by: Kelsey Butler, RDN

Omega-3s for Brain Health: A Deep Dive into Memory, Cognition, and Neurological Benefits

Omega-3 fatty acids have garnered attention for their diverse health benefits. Their impact on brain health and neurological functions is especially immense. 

Let’s look closer at Omega-3s, their specific neurological benefits, preferred types, best food sources, and dosing considerations. You may discover that consuming an adequate amount of Omega-3s daily could greatly benefit your health.

Expanded Neurological Benefits

The diverse neurological benefits of Omega-3s extend to mood, mental health, behavioral outcomes, and overall nerve health.

Mood & Mental Health: Numerous studies reveal a positive relationship between Omega-3 consumption and mood. A systematic review demonstrated that Omega-3 supplementation (EPA/DHA) can bolster mental health.

Nerve Health: Animal studies demonstrate the potential of Omega-3 fatty acids in promoting nerve regeneration.

Omega-3 Types: ALA, EPA, DHA

The three main types of Omega-3s are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). While ALA is primarily found in plants, DHA and EPA are predominantly in fish and other seafood.

DHA is a critical structural component of the brain and retina, while EPA has more substantial antioxidant effects. Data suggests that DHA is essential for brain development and neuroprotection, and EPA is more likely linked to its antioxidant effects, potentially impacting mood and mental health.

Food Sources and Dosing

The best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids (specifically DHA and EPA) are fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines. ALA can be obtained from plant sources like flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.

When it comes to dosage, there is no universally agreed-upon amount. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the adequate daily intake for adults is 1.1 grams (female) and 1.6 grams (male) for ALA. 

The range for DHA and EPA varies depending on individual health needs, anywhere from 250 milligrams to around 4 grams daily. Always consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice.


Our knowledge about the benefits of Omega-3s for brain health is expanding. They are vital for our brain function, mood, and neurological health. Understanding how to optimize your Omega-3 intake through appropriate sources and doses provides a solid basis for maintaining brain health.


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