Bust Out The Fish Oil

After posting about the “7 Ways To Help With Concussion Management” I realized that I had not posted about the possible benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids/DHA supplements for concussion management.

In a July publication of The Journal of Neurosurgery, Dr. Julian Bailes (BIRI) and Dr. Barry Sears (leading authority on anti-inflammatory nutrition, creator of Zone-Diet) found that supplementing rats with O3/DHA after head injuries reduced the observed issues with a concussion; (SOURCE via weightlosingideas.com)

“Animals receiving the daily fish oil supplement for 30 days post concussion had a greater than 98 percent reduction in brain damage compared with the animals that did not receive the supplement,” Dr. Sears said. “It is hypothesized that the omega-3 fatty acids in the fish oil reduced the neural inflammation induced by the concussion injury.”

O3/DHA has been documented to help with the inflammatory response of the body, many people use this SAFE and AVAILABLE supplement when training to temper swelling.  It is also has shown great promise for the cardiovascular system, mainly heart health.  Further investigation is underway in regards to humans with catastrophic brain injuries and concussions.

“One implication of the study is that concussions, such as those that occur in football, may be best treated with immediate high-dose fish oil supplementation to reduce brain inflammation. The same may hold true of all brain trauma patients,” Sears said.

You can go to your nearest Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger’s (grocery store), Sam’s Club, etc. and find this fish oil.  It can be used in liquid form, which from experience can be “stinky”, or in capsular form that is unscented (my choice).  It would be good to have around and use on a daily basis not only for help with concussions, but with general overall health.  The research showed that 1g/day may help with prevention of axonal damage in the brain;

There is potential for DHA to be used to limit brain damage in sports that are more prone to concussions, like football.  Taking 1g of DHA daily may protect brain axons from damage.  To get this amount from fish oil, you will need to take 4 soft gels of double strength fish oil (ex. Nordic Naturals ProOmega or Nature Made Double Strength Fish Oil).  If you are vegetarian and do not want to use fish oil, Martek makes omega-3 oils (Life’s DHA) from algal oil.

The thought and further investigation would be to see how much is needed to show help with the inflammatory phase of a concussion.  High dosing of fish oil has not shown any negative issues to this point, as the body will only discard what is not being used.  Therefore high-dosing after an injury may be a step in the right direction in dealing with the concussion.


19 thoughts on “Bust Out The Fish Oil

  1. brokenbrilliant January 9, 2011 / 17:12

    I’ve heard good things about fish oil, and I was taking it for a while. However — and folks should be aware of this — after I took it a while, I started to bruise really easily. This happens with some folks. So, if you play contact/collision sports and/or you have a concern about bleeding, just be aware that this can happen. And watch your body for signs of more frequent bruises.

  2. Chris March 30, 2011 / 20:15

    Hey, I was searching on this website and I don’t think you guys have talked about creatine and how it could minimize the effects of brain damage after a concussion.

    Please make a post about it! It’s important!

    • Dustin Fink March 31, 2011 / 06:47

      There is no research out there to indicate creatine has these effects for brain injuries.

  3. Chris April 9, 2011 / 04:06

    I’m not sure if it protects the brain before it is injured, or helps it heal after, but I read some websites and found a scientific study that said that it helps protect against injuries by consuming it prior to the injury.


    You can find more by typing in creatine and brain in Google.

    I would love hear what you think however.

  4. Paul April 12, 2011 / 12:00

    It is the inflammation from the damaged neurons that causes symptoms of a concussion. This is why using a fish oil that contains both EPA & DHA will work more effectively. The Study by Dr. Sears and Bails use Omega Rx which contains a 60% concentrate, 40% EPA & 20% DHA. The EPA competes with the omega 6 fatty acid, arachidonic acid for COX 2 to reduce inflammation. DHA alone fails miserable with every clinical trial. You need EPA! This study showed a greater than 98% reduction of damaged neurons, the DHA only was about 80% reduction! Don’t be fooled by the spin from Martek. This is all they are able to make.

    This is a great story how Dr. Sears and his fish oil changed Randal McCloy’s life – http://www.cbn.com/health/naturalhealth/drsears_mccloy.aspx

  5. fish oil April 21, 2011 / 07:35

    There are many food items and genre which are known to be the best sources of a variety of nutrients. Fish oil and other fish based food items are one of those food products which are known to provide many nutrients at the same time.

  6. candidiasis natural remedies April 21, 2011 / 22:29

    Best fish oil contain Omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential fatty acids for better human health. Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in seafood such as algae and krill, Fishes such as tuna, hailbut, salmon, Some plants, and nut oils.

  7. halskæde April 23, 2011 / 08:30

    Today more and more people take best fish oil because these are known to provide a lot of health benefits. Fish as you might know has fatty acids which aid our body in many ways. It provides nourishment, prevents many diseases and enhances overall health.

  8. smspuds@aol.com September 26, 2011 / 19:45

    I suffered from multiple concussions and was diagnosed with TBI from a tour in Iraq. After trying multiple therapies, I saw my best results from taking high dosage fish oil and Vitamin D3. In addition, it’s good for the heart, skin, and achy joints. Just make sure to do the research to find a quality, clean fish oil. A lot of cheaper fish oils have heavy metals, like mercury, which can make things worse. Good luck!

    • ncyim November 14, 2012 / 21:39

      Hi smspuds – i have multiple TBI too. Now taking 900mg algal DHA and seeing good effect. Please tell me how much fish oil and how much D3 you are taking daily. Thanks!

    • Terrence November 10, 2014 / 13:51

      Hi mate, could you please tell me how much omega 3 you took daily before seeing improvements?

      My brother has had bad headaches since getting hit last April. He’s been taking 3000 milligrams per day but no better.

      Hope you’re doing well post-concussion.

      Many thanks.


  9. Marsha August 1, 2012 / 09:41

    I’m know I’m coming very late to the party on this one, but I wanted to chime in that after my son’s concussion early this year (skiing), his father and I were advised by the ortho (who has a sub-specialty in pediatric sports-related concussion) to provide him the best possible nutrition, including the specific recommendation for fish oil supplements (along with vitamins D and C, and a multi), to accompany the brain rest and subsequent physical therapy. Although I understand the overall benefit of nutritional support for recovery of injury, I didn’t get at the time the specific benefits to concussion. The accident was seven months ago now and our son has recovered well. As football season approaches we’ve decided to keep him on the regimen and also to include his sister. She rides horses – another wonderful sport with real risk – and now these supplements not only provide nutritive benefits but we’re hoping also advance preparation in the event either child experiences injury.

  10. Todd Bailey February 19, 2013 / 10:44

    I am a senior high school football player and I also work in the athletic training room. I sustained a concussion this past season. My grandfather (a family practice physician, retired), suggested that I take is his MCI (mild cognitive impairment) supplement (MemoryLX) which is just a combination of B vitamins. I took 1 pill a day and noticed significant improvements within 48 hours (which I am aware is also a result of the rest, etc.). I was cleared to return to practice 4 days post injury, with no recurring symptoms. After doing some research on B vitamins and finding it application with MCI and Alzheimer’s, I found it to be an interesting link as the NFL studies have shown very similar brain scans between Alzheimer’s patients and NFL players with concussion disorders. Just thought it was worth sharing.

    • Denny September 19, 2013 / 20:14

      I can’t wait to learn of the results of this trial. Do you know of any trials that have been already completed?

    • Jill Fuhrmann August 12, 2014 / 13:54

      Not all fish oil processing is the same. Processing matters to the point of either increasing or decreasing effectiveness. “What many clinicians fail to realize is that most fish oil products are highly processed ethyl-alcohol esters(EE) called molecular distillation. Unprocessed form (Trigliceride- as occurs in nature) is much more absorbable (up to 48% more).” Systemic Formulas Inc.

  11. Joel B. Hayden, OD, CNS January 8, 2014 / 10:21

    There has been some great work done by Dr. Matthews in Atlanta. He found that supplementing with Omega 3 fatty acids coupled with D3 not only decreased post concussion symptoms, but actually decreased the number of concussions at his alma mater by up to 90%. I believe the anti inflammatory effects of the Omega 3’s coupled with the healing effects of D3 are responsible for the incredible decrease in not only concussions but sports injuries in general.

    The work done by Dr. Sears alone has convinced me to put all three of my football playing sons ( 16,14, and 10) on Omega 3’s. Dr. Matthews’ findings have them now taking D3 as well. I am going to be sending this article to our local high school and pop warner teams.


  12. bill g February 24, 2014 / 09:00

    Treatment for concussions is in its infancy. This information helps and hopefully will break open treatment for concussion research.

  13. Sha May 17, 2017 / 01:30

    This article has provided information about the importance of fish oil that contains omega 3 fatty acids which promotes heart health, maintains inflammation. I am suffering from chronic inflammation(arthritis) and these fish oil supplements has helped me in reducing levels of inflammation.

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