Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter! We can't wait to share our latest news on brain sciences.

Blog 30-second-insights

Omega-3s and Cognition: Does Fish Make You Brighter?

You may have heard that omega-3-rich foods, such as fish and nuts, are good for the brain. A pair of studies was just published lending more weight to this hypothesis—in it, people with more omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in their blood had larger intelligence-related brain structures.

So should we all be feasting on fish? Not necessarily.

A single study, like the one above, is promising, but does not prove that this type of diet actually impacts the brain. Other mechanisms could cause such a correlational relationship. For example, fish and other omega-3-rich foods can be expensive in the U.S., so those with more in their blood may also be wealthier, on average, and this does not appear to have been controlled for. There could be any number of differences between wealthy people and less wealthy people that could lead to larger brain structures. It could even work the other way around: having a healthier brain could put one in a better position to afford a fish-rich diet.

The overall scientific consensus seems to be inconclusive on the effects of omega-3 intake on the brain. So when you see reports of studies like the ones described above, remain skeptical, and keep tracking your own brain health to access personal data on changes to your cognitive performance:

Let me know what you think in the comments below.