Q. About 10 years ago I cleaned up my diet big time. I was eating so many fresh fruits and vegetables I figured I no longer needed the multi-vitamin and fish oil I had been taking. After about a year I was feeling great physically, but could not concentrate as well as I used to. I read the term “brain fog” and thought that was definitely what I had.
I started taking fish oil again, just a 1,000 mg capsule daily. Within about a month or so my mind felt noticeably more clear and agile. I’ll never stop taking fish oil as long as I can get it.
A. The benefits of fish oil are controversial when it comes to cognitive function. A review of the literature points out that animal studies are consistently positive and that fish oil supplements seem to help with mild cognitive impairment–what you are calling brain fog–but not Alzheimer’s disease (Advances in Nutrition, Nov, 2013).
A large, long-term study of women found that those with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their red blood cells had less brain shrinkage (atrophy) on MRI testing (Neurology, Feb. 4, 2014). Most nutrition experts recommend eating fatty fish at least twice a week to get adequate levels of fish oil.