Brain health dramatically improved by intake of omega-3 fatty acids and fish oils

It's no secret that long-term diet and nutrition choices have an effect on the way we look and feel; but new studies show that nutrition can also affect the way we think. As it turns out, there really is such a thing as “food for thought.” It may seem strange that what we ut in our stomachs can have such a owerful effect on what goes on in our minds, but research is increasingly showing that emotional, mental and sychiatric disorders like de ression, bi olar disorder and schi!o hrenia may more likely be the result of dietary deficiencies than genetic redis ositions. "he same is true of eo le who struggle with memory loss, have trouble learning new tasks, have Al!heimer#s disease or sim ly suffer from a lot of blue moods. "he dietary deficiency that tends to fre$uently show u in these atients is a lack of omega-% oils -- abundant fatty acids found in cold-water fish like salmon, herring and cod.

&mega-%s and brain health
"he omega-% fatty acid known as docosahe'aenoic acid ()*A+ is an im ortant ingredient for o timal brain function. ,arl -indell, ./h /h), writes in Earl Mindell's Supplement Bible, “"here's a reason why fish is known as brain food. It is a rich source of docosahe'aenoic acid ()*A+, a fatty acid that is found in high concentration in the gray matter of the brain. )*A is instrumental in the function of brain cell membranes, which are im ortant for the transmission of brain signals.” 0y making cell membranes more fluid, omega-% fatty acids, es ecially )*A, im rove communication between the brain cells, according to Mind Boosters author )r. .ay 1ahelia. As a result, lack of omega-% in the body can cause a communication breakdown in the brain, which is robably the last lace you'd want such a breakdown to ha en. &mega-% fatty acids are so im ortant to the develo ment and ro er maintenance of the brain that “some scientists even ostulate that it was the ingestion of omega-% ,2As that allowed the brain to evolve to the ne't stage in human develo ment,” according to Superfoods Rx authors 1teven 3. /ratt and 4athy -atthews. 5hile omega-%s were abundant in our diets before the 67th century, they are now seriously lacking. "he ,ditors of 289A -edical /ublishing write in The Folk Remedy Encyclopedia, “:ust like a machine, your brain needs oil -- in the form of omega-% and omega-; fatty acids -- to run smoothly. <nfortunately, the average diet doesn't usually contain the right balance of these fatty acids. If you eat a ty ical modern diet, you robably get lenty of omega-; through corn, soybean, and other oils in rocessed food. 0ut omega-% oils, which are =ust as im ortant, are often missing.”

/regnant women need omega-%s
It may not be sur rising that most red-meat-loving Americans do not get a lot a fish in their diets, and therefore are not getting enough brain-boosting omega-%. <nfortunately, since )*A is crucial in fetal brain develo ment, that lack of omega-% could be utting us at a mental disadvantage before we are even born. “)uring regnancy, omega-% fatty acids are conveyed from the mother's blood to the develo ing fetus by way of the lacenta,” writes /hyllis A. 0alch in Prescription For Dietary ellness. “"hey are vital for the develo ment of the brain and retina membranes of the fetus. "hus, the amount of )*A the baby receives de ends on the mother's dietary intake of omega-% fatty acids.” )e ending on -om#s diet, then, a child#s brain could be starved for omega-% before it has any say in the matter, and research shows this could actually have a significant im act on intelligence and vision. “1everal recent studies, conducted in both animals and humans, have shown that babies who receive ade$uate amounts of this vital fat have better functioning brains and higher I>s,” writes )r. .ussell ?. 0laylock in !ealth "nd #utrition Secrets. “"hose with low amounts of )*A demonstrate learning difficulties and visual roblems.” "herefore, moms who want to brag about their kids# intelligence could stand to add more fish to their diets. &mega-% fatty acids continue to be essential to infant brain develo ment after birth, and research shows babies who are breast fed receive higher levels of the im ortant fatty acid than those fed formula, since baby formula in the <nited 1tates is not re$uired to contain any omega-% at all. 0reast milk a ears, in this case, to have ma=or ayoffs, according to /hyllis A. 0alch, 8@8 and )r. :ames 2. 0alch in Prescription For #utritional !ealin$, who write, “0reastfed infants have been found to be more intelligent than formula-fed infants and to achieve higher academic levels in adult life.”

&mega-%s can aid mental and emotional disorders
"he brain#s need for omega-% fatty acids does not go away ost-infancy. &mega-% deficiencies in adults have been linked to various mental and emotional disorders. In fact, “some doctors even think the e idemic amounts of mental illness in modern societies can be traced back to the omega imbalance in the food su ly,” according to Eat and !eal, by the ,ditors of 289A -edical /ublishing. ?ow levels of )*A have been linked to memory loss, de ression, bi olar disorder, attention deficit disorder, schi!o hrenia, autism and general learning difficulties or bad moods. “If you don't feed brain cell membranes enough of the right ty e of fat, the messages can be shortcircuited and garbled. "hat may mean a disturbance in mood, concentration, memory, attention, and behavior,” writes Miracle %ures author :ean 8ar er. )e ression in articular

&mega-% may be =ust as im ortant to the elderly o ulation as it is to newborns. 2or eo le who don#t like fish. &mega-% fatty acids aid in routine memory function in eo le without Al!heimer#s. “2or o timal brain function. the hormone that relieves de ression. as well. since diminishing omega-% levels may be a contributing factor to stroke and Al!heimer#s disease. you could consider taking su 1ahelia. or clum s of rotein. it seems like a smart choice to make. omega-% fatty acids are also available in some lant foods. if eating more fish oil can hel kee your brain shar and hel you hold on to those recious memories as you grow older. modern research is validating folk wisdomBfish really is brain food. I recommend that you consume fish at least two or three times a week. and among them is docosahe'aenoic acid ()*A+. If your diet does not include enough of the omega-% fatty acids or enough fish. “&ne study found that )*A su lementation significantly decreased the number of reference memory errors and working memory errors in aged male rats and in young rats. The experts speak on omega-3 oils and brain health: "he belief that Afish is brain foodA has been held around the world for well over two thousand years. one of the ossible causes of Al!heimer#s disease is betaamyloid la$ue. that accumulate in the victim's brain. &nce more. like fla'seed and walnuts. since omega-% fatty acids hel regulate mood by increasing levels of serotonin. @ow. as has been suggested by research in :a an. According to Eat and !eal. 2ish remains the best source of omega-%s. but they are not as otent in these forms. and “e' erts believe beta-amyloid might be connected with inflammation of the brain's blood vessels. :ulian 5hitaker in The Memory Solution. . it remains fundamental to those tissues throughout life. if you are fish deficient.” writes )r. new lements of fish oils or flaxseed oil. it#s time to wise u .has been fre$uently linked to low levels of )*A.” writes 3ary @ull in Po&er "$in$. “:a anese studies have shown that su lemental )*A shar ens memory in atients with dementia and de ression and im roves behavior and s eech in those with Al!heimer's disease. After all. 8urrent research focuses on these oilsBoften woefully short. 1o.” writes )r. essential for brain and eye tissue develo ment (s ecifically the retina+ in infants. 2ish su lies omega-% oils. if not deficient. they could also be an im ortant key in the fight against this frightening degenerative disease. in modern dietsBas one cause of attention deficit disorder. and diets lacking in the essential fatty acids may need su lements.” 1ince omega-% fatty acids are known to reduce inflammation.

adults with low levels of )*A have a greater likelihood of develo ing dementia in their later years. tuna. many of the tests reviously mentioned relating to nutrition. bi olar disorder. remature birth and its otential neurologic com lications may result from omega-% deficiency. to'ic load. or dementia. and ossibly other sychiatric disorders.findings are suggesting that the oils found in fish also hel revent cancer. The Ome#a. Stoll ' ! "a#e /0 &mega-% fatty acids are beneficial because they rovide fluidity to cell membranes and im rove communication between brain cells. according to data collected in the long-term 2ramingham *eart 1tudy. "he delicate balance of electrolytes also controls the electrical activity within the brain. . &mega-%s also reduce the clotting ability of latelets. Individuals of any age without ade$uate amounts of omega-% fatty acids in the brain and body may also be at higher risk for de ression. )r. "eenagers and adults with omega-% deficiency may be more rone to hostility or violence. rainbow trout. thus otentially decreasing the incidence of heart attacks and strokes. the loss of omega-% fatty acids in the brain may result in a higher risk of stroke. %lternati&e 'edicine by (urton )oldber#! "a#e *0+$ )*A remains the most im ortant brain fat throughout life. 8hildren de rived of omega-%s may have less ability to ay attention and control im ulsive behavior and may be at higher risk for de ression. &ther studies have indicated these adults are twice as likely to develo dementia as those with high levels of )*A. "wo very im ortant omega-% fatty acids are eicosa entanoic acid (. In the body. memory roblems. and is the redominant omega-% fatty acid in brain tissue. And a CDDE study demonstrated that low )*A blood levels are an im ortant risk factor for Al!heimer's disease. 2or this reason. stri ed bass. and stress have relevance when attem ting to better understand sub-o timal brain function. As the brain is de endent on dietary fatty acids. 0eginning in regnancy./A+ and docosahe'anoic acid ()*A+. egg yolks. In aging. are critical to ro er brain function. )ocosahe'aenoic acid ()*A+ is a long-chain fatty acid found in fish. The memory Solution by r Julian Whitaker! "a#e *20 "he im lications of omega-% deficiency on the brain are rofound and s an the entire human life cycle. es ecially mackerel. "hey are found in seafood. 20 Natural Ways to Reduce The Risk Of Prostate Cancer by James Scala PH ! "a#e $0 -any nutrients. and sardines. Connection by %ndre. 2atty acid de rivation works against o timal brain ower. DHA is found mostly in the brain. such as the 0 vitamins. halibut. 1chmidt re orts in 1mart 2ats that. 0abies who are bottle-fed or born from omega-%deficient mothers will lack the omega-% fatty acids necessary for o timal cognitive and visual develo ment.. salmon. -ichael A. ?ow levels of )*A are associated with an increased risk of memory loss. reductions in )*A content of the diet may contribute to degenerative changes in the nervous system. and marine algae.

%sk r Weil by %ndre. omega-.ssential fatty acids include al ha-linolenic acid (A?A+ found in erilla and fla'seed oils and docosahe'aenoic acid ()*A+ and eicosa entaenoic acid (./ Ade"uate levels of DHA are re"uired for proper brain and eye development and fun#tion. 2ish oil acts as latelet aggregation inhibitors as well as triglyceride lowering agents.s than the omega-%s. rotect against the abnormal clotting associated with heart attacks. which are vital nutrients. 2ish oils reduce inflammation due to their high content of )*A and . )*A is not only very critical in brain develo ment but also in maintenance of the brain later in life. . and in sperm. "he 2ramingham study confirmed that the friendly fats have a beneficial effect on stroke revention. even into the e'tremes of age. and nervous system. "hese connections allow the various arts of the brain to communicate with each other and communicate with the body as well. most omega-% fatty acids have been removed from our foods. Heart isease by (urton )oldber#! "a#e /$ . "his fat lays an im ortant role in the formation of the syna tic connections within the brain. cottonseed. for e'am le./A. tooF a CDD6 study ublished in the =ournal ?ancet. 'ind (oosters by r Ray Sahelia ' ! "a#e $+ &ne of the most im ortant of these fats is called docosohe'iaonic acid or )*A. "he double bond of an omega-. -ayonnaise and salad oils normally contain a great amount of omega-. (laylock ' ! "a#e . <nlike omega-%s. the brain is constantly restructured throughout life. suggested that omega-% fatty acids rolong regnancy by a few days and im rove birth weights. DHA is important for signal transmission in the brain. because of food.. Health %nd Nutrition Secrets by Russell . "hese fatty acids reduce inflammation. -ost Americans generally have a much higher intake of the omega-. "here may be other benefits. Health %nd Nutrition Secrets by Russell . ! &mega-. fatty acid starts si' carbons from the left. which are concentrated in the brain.*3 2ish oil is robably the most im ortant dietary source of omega-% fatty acids.ssential fatty acids are im ortant in both stroke revention and during the re air of brain tissue damaged by stroke. and rotect brain function.rocessing methods and industrial raising of animals as meat sources. isease Pre&ention %nd Treatment by . fatty acids are made from linoleic acid.s are found in most tissues in the body. a fatty acid found in vegetable oils such as corn.retina. (laylock ' ! "a#e . and sunflower. <nfortunately. DHA plays an important role in vision.Weil ' ! "a#e +2 . inhibit cancer. eye. safflower.ife 01tension 2oundation! "a#e 3. fatty acids. )on't forget. "he brain is almost entirely com osed of fatty acids./A+ found in cold-water fish oil.

or flax into your diet during this period. most Americans do not eat significant $uantities of fish. including a ossible role in the roduction of neurotransmitters. DHA is found in high #on#entration in the gray matter of the brain and the retina of the eye. however.. which are im ortant for the transmission of brain signals. . Although the body can convert al ha-linolenic acid into )*A.ife 01tension 2oundation! "a#e 22 $n the last month of pregnan#y and first month of neonatal life. such as organ meats and eggs. It is also abundant in fatty fish. like salmon. isease Pre&ention %nd Treatment by . In fact. research has shown that rimates fed a diet low in this articular fat actually became more violent and aggressive. "he same may be true for humans. omega-3 fatty a#ids are rapidly in#orporated into the brain of the baby. the fatty acid found in fish. sardines. I consider fish oils to be a crucial com onent of the mind-boosting rogram resented in this book. 2i#ht (ack With 2ood by Readers i#est! "a#e 5."he basic building blocks of our brain cells are essential fatty acids such as . "aking a small amount of antio'idants. 0arl 'indells Secret Remedies by 0arl 'indell RPh Ph ! "a#e **0 . 'ind (oosters by r Ray Sahelia ' ! "a#e 55 1tudies strongly suggest that )*A. such as a few units of vitamin . )*A is found in foods that many eo le have given u in the name of good health. along with the fish-oil su lements seems rudent. e sure to in#lude extra amounts of salmon. ' eeks To (ptimum !ealth by "ndre& eil MD) pa$e *+. mackerel./A and )*A are im ortant fatty acids in maintaining ro er memory and cognitive function. )*A is vital for brain and eye health. 1tudies indicate that )*A may have cardiovascular benefits as well as neurological benefits. sardines. It is also instrumental in the function of brain cell membranes. "hese fatty acids are also used as fuel for brain metabolism and hel control the chronic inflammatory rocesses involved in degenerative brain disorders. "hese fatty acids may have many =obs in the body./A and )*A from fish oil. "herefore. is essential for normal mental function. the amount roduced is minimal so you are better off getting )*A directly from food. and albacore tuna. 0arl 'indell4s Su""lement (ible by 0arl 'indell RPh Ph ! "a#e // A ma=or building block of human brain tissue and the rimary structural fatty acid in the gray matter of the brain and the retina.

and Patricia . halibut.777 to %. "he fish richest in this oil are salmon. isease Pre&ention %nd Treatment by .ife 01tension 2oundation! "a#e 3. the &mega % fatty acids found in cold-water fish. and eye function. adrenal glands and se' glands. "hey also have very strong anti-inflammatory ro erties.ife 01tension 2oundation! "a#e 22 . . but they do not have any significant levels of . If we are healthy.777 milligrams of omega-%s in su "he Rhodiola Re&olution by Richard P (ro-n ' lement form every day. es ecially eo le who are aging or who have a chronic illness or degenerative condition. retina. 2ish that contain high &mega % fatty acids are essential to our good health. (artrams 0ncyclo"edia of Herbal 'edicine by Thomas (artram! "a#e . are found in all the cells of our body. ?ow-fat fish or fish from tro ical waters are still healthful to eat. tuna. i#esti&e Wellness by 0li6abeth . "hey rolong gestation and increase birth weight. and for lowering the risk of high cholesterol. eel and herring. are im ortant in neurological re air because the brain is com osed almost entirely of fatty acids. )*A may be the more im ortant fatty acid. 5e recommend taking C./A (eicosa entaenoic acid+ and )*A (docosahe'aenoic acid+./A of oily fish or fish oil su lements assist develo ment of the fetal brain.* "he . low cholesterol levels and low saturated fat levels. "his makes them a nearly ideal source of dietary rotein. )r. es ecially docosahe'aenoic acid ()*A+.ating fish gives us these necessary fatty acids directly. trout. 0ut many of us have decreased ability to make this conversion. nutrients that hel %lternati&e Cures by (ill )ottlieb! "a#e 2* rotect brain cells. )erbar# ' ! "a#e 2*3 .at lenty of cold-water fish such as tuna. and cancer. many trace nutrients.30 &mega-% essential fatty acidsF "hese beneficial fats maintain the fluidity of nerve cell membranes. nerve syna ses. high $uality essential fatty acids. 4halsa suggests. trout. cardiovascular disease.ssential fatty acids. sardines. mackerel. 2ish have easily digestible rotein. nerve. isease Pre&ention %nd Treatment by . and salmon./AG)*A oils. we can make ./A and )*A oils from &mega % oils found in foods.i"ski 'S CCN! "a#e *$$ 5hen it comes to roviding rotection for the brain and encouraging overall brain health. "hey're rich in omega-% fatty acids. . "hey also are im ortant for building cells. mackerel.. 1tudies found that )*A su lementation significantly decreased the number of reference memory errors and working memory errors in aged male rats as well as in young rats. "hey are es ecially abundant in brain cells. for reserving brain.

the arms be#ome hardened and signals are transmitted more slo&ly . arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. and ossibly Al!heimer's disease. and dementia of the Al!heimer's ty e. says )r. @ew evidence shows that fish oil may also be thera eutic for mood and brain disturbances. aggressive behavior. such as de ression. "hese fatty acids are also used as fuel for brain metabolism and they hel control chronic inflammatory rocesses involved in degenerative brain disorders. which is rich in salmon. 1ince a certain amount of al ha linolenic acid from fla'seed is converted into )*A. this su lement can be a beneficial memory booster. attention deficit disorder. )*A may be the more im ortant fatty acid. omega-% fatty acids have an antiinflammatory effect. es ecially one fraction called )*A. Natural Physicians Healin# Thera"ies by 'ark Sten#ler N ! "a#e *77 "he latest research from :a an demonstrates why )*A is also necessary to maintain o timum brain functioning in adults. schi!o hrenia. /erha s the most critical of these essential fatty acids is )*A. and why it could turn out to be critical for the revention and ossible reversal of Al!heimer's diseaseH 8nder#round Cures by Health Sciences 9nstitute! "a#e *0/ %hen the level of DHA drops. 1alem.Although for years scientists understood that fish oil could lighten the burden of heart disease. "he brain does not function well unless ade$uate amounts of omega-% fatty acids circulate in the bloodstream and are incor orated into cell membranes. redu#ing axon flexibility. only recently have they focused on the im act of fish oil in the brain. 8nder#round Cures by Health Sciences 9nstitute! "a#e *0/ "he basic building blocks of your brain cells are essential fatty acids such as . 'iracle Cures by Jean Car"er! "a#e *70 "he brain is . are linked to de ression. which a ears to be im ortant for brain health./A (eicosa entaenoic acid+ and )*A (docosahe'aenoic acid+ from fish oil. @orman 1alem at the @ational Institute of mental health says low levels of omega-%s. brain damage from alcohol. 5hen it comes to rotecting brain health. &ne study found that )*A su lementation significantly decreased the number of reference memory errors and working memory errors in aged male rats and in young rats. "oo little )*A and other omega-% fat in brain cell membranes. Also. . which is necessary for memory and learning. )r. &mega-% fatty acids also a ear to .esearchers in :a an have recently observed that the absence of )*A is associated with many cognitive and mental-health conditions. may com romise ro er brain functioning in various ways. "he omega-% fatty acids are an integral art of the structure and function of the brain. Po-er %#in# by )ary Null! "a#e *5.7 ercent fatBand essential fatty acids are an integral com onent of this fat.

and concentration in infants. experts advise pregnant and la#tating &omen to eat seafood to ensure that their #hildren*s developing brains are supplied &ith omega-3 oils . 2or e'am le. *uman breast milk contains )*A but. and one that is espe#ially #riti#al for the brain development of fetuses and ne&borns.'ren#h s#ientists have sho&n that rats defi#ient in omega-3 fatty a#ids had more re#eptors for the neurotransmitter serotonin and a #orresponding de#rease in dopamine in the frontal #ortex. influence the brain chemicals involved in antide ressant action. in#reased dopamine in the frontal #ortex in#reases drive and motivation. the ty e found in fish. but they are often high in to'ic metals and environmental contaminants that are articularly damaging to babies. )ot surprisingly. &mega-%s have been found critical in fetal and infant brain develo ment.. and as &ell to take supplementary DHA. The dire#tion of the #hanges in these neurotransmitter systems is #onsistent &ith some human models of ma(or depression. 2ood : 'ood by 0li6abeth Somer '% R ! "a#e 200 1ome e' erts insist that omega-% fatty acid. <nited 4ingdom. The Ome#a.our 'iracle 'edicine by Jean Car"er! "a#e 273 The human body #onverts +mega-3 fats into DHA. 'or this reason. 2ood .a nutrient that is needed by all of us. attributes la#king in the depressed person. 5hile breast-fed infants are smarter than formula-fed infants. indi#ations that there #an be a great deal of variation among people in ho& effi#iently their bodies #onvert +mega-3 fats into DHA. )*A is essential for the growth and functional develo ment of the fetal and infant brain and visual system. a study from the <niversity of )undee. $ strongly advise those pregnant and nursing &omen &ho #hoose not to eat fish to be #ertain to in#lude ample amounts of flax seed oil in their diet. other s#ientists have observed that in#reasing the dietary intake of omega-3 fatty a#ids boosted the levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the frontal #ortex of rats. There are. ho&ever. $n humans. Connection by %ndre. may be the magic intelligence-boosting ingredient in mother's milk. Thus. unless su lemented with )*A. 'atty fish are high in DHA. Stoll ' ! "a#e **5 .esearch on infants shows that )*A is essential for normal brain develo ment. thinking. &hi#h is good. infant . found that term infants fed )*Afortified formulas for the first four months of life scored higher on roblem-solving tests at ten months of age. 2ood Re&olution by John Robbins! "a#e +.

%lternati&e 'edicine by (urton )oldber#! "a#e . Saturated 2at 'ay Sa&e . Al!heimer's disease can be halted or at least slowed down. unless brain cells have withered and died. so babies who are not breastfed have lower levels of these im ortant nutrients.23 Added su ort to the claim of essentiality is the observation that large amounts of )*A have been found in the brain and eyes. and continues to accumulate during an infant's first few months of life.formulas in the <.ife by (ruce 2ife N ! "a#e /. P R 2or Nutritional Su""lements by Sheldon Saul Hendle and a&id Ror&ik! "a#e */0 )*A is vital for normal brain develo ment for the fetus and infant and for the maintenance of normal brain function throughout life. .1.our . The memory Solution by r Julian Whitaker! "a#e **7 . do not contain any significant amounts..esearchers have found that breast-fed babies have higher intelligence than bottle-fed babies. -.). "heir offs ring suffered from eye defects until their diet was su lemented by )*A. and this could lay a ma=or role in the maintenance of normal cognition and mood. robably because of the omega-% found in mother's milk. )*A accumulates in the fetal brain late in regnancy. In one e' eriment. "ogether with other long-chain olyunsaturated fatty acids. catch it early enough and it can be reversed. infant formulas are routinely su lemented with )*A. "he various causes of mental decline can be reversed and the rogression of degenerative changes to the brain's neurons can be slowed. In . . 0at and Heal by the 0ditors of 2C:% 'edical Publishin#! "a#e *$/ 5hile growing older is something we must all embrace.uro e and :a an. And if you deal with the ossibility of brain decline at mid-life. )*A lays a articularly crucial role in the brain develo ment of infants and children. by contrast.esearchers have determined that these im ortant fatty acids affect intelligence in infancy and erha s later in life. A?osing control of your mental faculties as you age isn't inevitable and can be reversed. A study showed that older men who ate fish regularly had better working brains than men who didn't eat fish. P R 2or Nutritional Su""lements by Sheldon Saul Hendle and a&id Ror&ik! "a#e */7 . And it doesn't hel =ust babies. *uman breast milk contains much more of these critical fats than cows# milk or formula.ven in the late stages. author of brain ?ongevity. )*A a ears to be a ma=or determinant of membrane fluidity in brain cells.A says brain longevity e' ert )harma 1ingh 4halsa. female monkeys were fed diets low in )*A during regnancy. your chances of reventing it altogether are high. the diminishment of our mental abilities is not inevitable.

The Ome#a iet by %rtemis P Simo"oulos ' and Jo Robinson! "a#e +3 . It is now being suggested that their greater cognitive abilities may also be due to a more generous su ly of maternal )*A. Connection by %ndre. 0reast-fed babies also have better visual acuity than bottle-fed babies. eo le have attributed the well-documented mental su eriority of firstborn children to the fact they s end more one-on-one time with a arent. 0ut careful studies show that )*A lays a key role in cognitive develo ment. but may in the future be able to urchase both . visual inter retation. some nutritional scientists believe we must consume the fish and fish oil-derived long-chain omega-% s directly for o timal brain health.1. and math. the fetus will irate what she has stored in her tissuesBincluding her brain. )*A is generally incor orated into the cell membranes found throughout the body. "he su erior erformance of breast-fed babies could be due to any number of factors. The Ome#a iet by %rtemis P Simo"oulos ' and Jo Robinson! "a#e 7+ -ost of the clinical data on omega-% fatty acids involves fish oil and its omega-% com onents. but infant formulas do not. (<. sentence com letion. @ewborns a ear to be better able to transform A?A to the longer-chain omega-%s. than non-vegetarians./A and )*A. but it a ears that adult humans cannot convert enough A?A to . Stoll ' ! "a#e 207 "he studies have been somewhat mi'ed.+ As a result. . however. and. If the mother fails to get enough of these nutrients in her diet. brain./A and )*A. "hus. If a woman does not re lenish her store of these essential elements following the birth of a child. 1ome eo le suggest this is why firstborn children score higher on intelligence tests. she will have lower and lower levels with each additional child.vidence from the nursery suggests that they might. 5omen who breast-feed their babies have even lower levels of )*A because they are continuing to su ly the baby's need for omega-% fatty acids. years later. )*A is crucial for normal brain develo ment and o timal cognitive and visual functioning in the fetus and newborn. *uman breast milk contains )*A. including the fact that women who breast-feed their babies tend to be of a higher socioeconomic class. The Ome#a./A and then to )*A. . breast-fed babies have more )*A in their brains and retinas than bottle-fed babies. but it is found in highest concentration in the retina. but these conversions may still be inade$uate to fill the huge need of young children for omega-% fatty acids. score higher on standardi!ed tests of reading. manufacturers of baby food are not yet re$uired to add )*A to their roducts./A and . ?ab tests show that new mothers have half the normal blood levels of omega-% fatty acids. nonverbal skills.&mega-% fatty acids are essential for the normal develo ment of the unborn baby's brain. and s erm. es ecially during the final three months of gestation when the si!e of its brain increases threefold. 2ish oil contains the two rimary long-chain omega-% fatty acids. <ntil now.. 1trict vegetarians likely have lower levels of the long-chain omega-% fatty acids.

in fish oils. es ecially intelligence. and 1odium in the blood that keys either -otor @erves' muscular activity. /um kin. . Lour brain contains a high ercentage of fat. The Ome#a. %nti<%#in# 'anual by Jose"h ( 'arion! "a#e 5. A redominantly meat versus vegetarian diet seems to be a significant risk factor. and K-67J in unhydrogenated 1oy. the kind that hel s form your cell membranes and lays a vital role in how your brain cells function. attention deficit disorder. /otassium. and learning ability. mackerel. also have a high correlation with deficient levels of )*A in the bloodstream. -agnesium. moods. )*A is found throughout the fatty tissue in our brains. 5alnut. . %lternati&e 'edicine by (urton )oldber#! "a#e 7*0 "he ty es of fat in your diet may influence your memory. and vegetablesBall foods high in essential fatty acids.. The Okina-a Pro#ram by (radley J Willco1 ' Crai# Willco1 Ph 'akoto Su6uki ' ! "a#e 255 1tudies show that essential fatty acids. fresh fruits. dairy roducts.esearchers have found that atients with bi olar de ression often res ond dramatically to very high dose su lementation with oils rich in )*A. Natural Physicians Healin# Thera"ies by 'ark Sten#ler N ! "a#e *5$ -ost eo le may be deficient in )*A because of A?A to )*A conversion roblems. behavior. or 1ensory @erves' ain feedback. 2urthermore. including seed oils. such as de ression. and learning roblems. Connection by %ndre. that a )*A deficiency can lead to memory. It's not sur rising. Its recursor is Al ha-?inolenic Acid (A?A+. sardines.)*A su lements derived directly from algae. Stoll ' ! "a#e /$ )*A is critical for the ro er develo ment and function of the brain because your brain cells need it to transmit electrical im ulses efficiently. -ulti le sclerosis is most common in 5estern countries where eo le consume large amounts of meat. and schi!o hrenia. com osing I 7-. and it a ears to lay a role in how our brain functions. therefore. cod. res onse to stress.2 &ne ty e of omega-% fatty acid is called docosahe'aenoic acid ()*A+. oily fish. a great number of neurological conditions.7J of 2la'seed oil. are lacking in many -1 atients. olive oil. A growing body of research has confirmed that infants who are deficient in levels of this fatty acid have less than o timal neurological function. and *em seed oils. com osed of ositively-charged atom salts of 8alcium. "he brain sends messages to the body through the 8entral @ervous 1ystem. electrically via thousands of little cellular batteries. the building blocks of the brain and nervous system. "his is AstructuralA fat. in cold water salmon. and rocessed foodsB all foods low in essential fatty acidsBand is least common in countries where diets are high in unsaturated fats. )*A is found reformed in fresh sea vegetables.

"o get sufficient omega-%'s to battle de ression. %lternati&e Cures by (ill )ottlieb! "a#e *+* 2atigue and de ression often go hand in hand. which are essential for normal brain function. 0reast-fed babies score higher on many ty es of standardi!ed tests than bottle-fed babies. Oils by onald Rudin ' and Clara 2eli1! "a#e 20+ 1 ecial fats found in fish oil. including schi!o hrenia and manic-de ression. may very well be manifestations of an &mega deficiency. hel regulate mood by increasing serotonin levels. which usually amounts to about %7 fish-oil ca sules daily.' ress riders that carry messages from cell to cell. . es ecially )*A. )*A has im roved brain function in infants. )r. but in the <nited 1tates and some other countries. "ake them in divided doses with meals. according to researchers at the @ational Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in 0ethesda. or brain cells. It has been shown that eo le deficient in )*A are much more likely to suffer from de ression. Muess recommends taking a ro'imately C7 grams a day of )*A and . have an easier time wriggling through fat membranes made of fluid omega-% than any other kind of fat. -aryland. 2ood : 'ood by 0li6abeth Somer '% R ! "a#e *7$ 1ome e' erts believe fish fights de ression because neurotransmitters. The Ome#a iet by %rtemis P Simo"oulos ' and Jo Robinson! "a#e ++ "he brain is .7 ercent fat and re$uires essential fatty acids. the brain's /ony . infant formulas do not. called the omega-% fatty acids. ?ow intake of fish oils lowers brain levels of serotonin in animals and increases aggressive and hostile behaviors. adults. including increased rates of im ulsive suicide attem ts. to function ro erly. the nerve chemical that relieves de ression.Lour brain is unusually rich in the omega-% fatty acid )*A. )r. A number of mental disorders. 1chwart! suggests taking C. "o hel a blue mood.777 milligrams of omega-% fatty acids. 1imilar effects have been noted in humans with lower fish oil consum tion and serotonin levels. *uman breast milk contains )*A. Natural Physicians Healin# Thera"ies by 'ark Sten#ler N ! "a#e *70 "he &mega fatty acids lay a rominent role in a erson's mental health. but they do know that the fats are im ortant to health of neurons. 0at and Heal by the 0ditors of 2C:% 'edical Publishin#! "a#e */$ 1cientists don't know e'actly how omega-%'s rotect against de ression. "his means your brain's im ortant messages get delivered./A. "his remedy is safe for long-term use. and the elderly. Ome#a .

i"onis ' ! "a#e *. found that fish oil ca sules hel ed eo le with bi olar disorder. which are lacking in most eo le's diets in the <nited 1tates. she advises. 0at and Heal by the 0ditors of 2C:% 'edical Publishin#! "a#e *$/ &mega-% fatty acids. a *arvard sychiatrist. A"he striking difference in rela se rates and res onse a eared to be highly clinically significant.A 1toll suggests the omega-% fatty acid in fish oil may slow down neurons in your brain.ecent research at *arvard has shown that su lemental essential fatty acids can im rove the sym toms of bi olar (manic-de ressive+ disorder. which is also commonly found in fish fat. omega%s can be a owerful ad=unct in treating this illness. 2i#ht (ack With 2ood by Readers i#est! "a#e 5.esearch conducted at 0righam and 5omen's *os ital in 0oston indicated that omega-%s block abnormal brain cell signaling in atients who have bi olar disorder."ake the su lement every day at breakfast.earbook 200/ by (ottom . who go through eriods of e'treme highs and lows. (ottom . the bacteria in your gut can affect your brain chemistry. "herefore. "he oint is that the origin of de ression may be hysical. and even schi!o hrenia. or manic de ression. "his is based on the fundamental understanding that the cells of the brain normally contain high levels of )*A. rather than mental. 1ome doctors even think the e idemic amounts of mental illness in modern societies can be traced back to the omega imbalance in the food su ly.ine . recent findings show a correlation between low levels of these com ounds and de ression. 8ltra"re&ention by 'ark Hyman ' and 'ark . are abundantly resent in the brain and are essential for normal brain function. mood disorders. much like the drug ?ithium. or 0C6.ine Personnel! "a#e 5. As another e'am le. %lternati&e Cures by (ill )ottlieb! "a#e 232 )r. which is used to treat manic de ression. 0at and Heal by the 0ditors of 2C:% 'edical Publishin#! "a#e */$ . and that ade$uate levels of this ty e of fat are critical for healthy communication between brain cells. such as deficiency of omega-% fatty acids. . . "hough little is currently known about how omega-% fatty acids regulate mood. Andrew 1toll. folate. *e says. these bacteria release substances that can cause de ression because they interfere with the brain's neurotransmitters (the chemicals in our brain that are involved with mood and thinking+. 8ltra"re&ention by 'ark Hyman ' and 'ark .i"onis ' ! "a#e $5 2ish oil even hel ed migraine sufferers have fewer and less severe headaches. And there is strong evidence that omega-% fats can hel with a host of mental illnesses including de ression.

' ectingN A arently @ot )*A "he vast ma=ority of America#s recent moms and moms-to-be say it is common medical knowledge that folic acid and calcium with vitamin ) are two of the most im ortant nutrients for regnant women.8. ). it may hel lower the risks of re-term birth and even ostartum de ression. 5hat to . If taken during regnancy. &ften overlooked by mothers and health care roviders alike.A which are a common side effect of rolonged drug treatment..based national advocacy organi!ation. A growing body of scientific evidence continues to demonstrate that )*A &mega-% is an im ortant building block of erinatal nutrition. a fourth grou treated twenty schi!o hrenic atients with fish oil.' ect 5hen "hey#re . a woman will have lower levels of )*A with each subse$uent child.ecently. If a regnant woman does not have enough omega-% fatty acids in her diet. 1eventy-nine ercent were able to identify leafy vegetables as a source . and Anegative sym toms.A The Ome#a iet by %rtemis P Simo"oulos ' and Jo Robinson! "a#e +7 )e ression is linked with low blood levels of )*A. three inde endent grou s of researchers have found that schi!o hrenics have abnormally low levels of )*A. The ma(ority of &omen surveyed kno& the importan#e of in#luding foli# a#id and #al#ium &ith vitamin D in their diet . a critical nutrient for the develo ment and health of a baby#s brain. )*A &mega-% is also im ortant for ongoing health throughout life.1chi!o hrenia is a devastating mental disorder that tends to strike early in adulthood. according to a 4elton . "he thera y was well tolerated and relieved both ty es of sym toms commonly seen in schi!o hrenicsF A ositive sym toms. it is ossibly the most im ortant nutrient e' ectant mothers don#t know about. If a woman has additional children and does not re lace the missing .A such as delusions and hallucinations. as do u to E7 ercent of chronic. 0etween C. the fetus will rob the fatty acids from her tissues. /rom ted by these findings. but they have failed to relieve all of the troubling sym toms. A lack of )*A has been linked with ost artum de ression. @ew anti sychotic drugs have hel ed many schi!o hrenics function minimally in society.esearch. 1ome atients also got relief from abnormal involuntary movements called Atardive dyskinesia. a 5ashington.esearch survey s onsored by the 1ociety for 5omen#s *ealth . . but half of them do not know about the need for )*A &mega-%. heart and eyes. Alcohol leaches )*A out of the brain. heavy drinkers. and I7 ercent of alcoholics suffer from de ression. Most Women Unaware of Key Nutrient Needed for Babies !evelopment !uring "regnancy -ost women are aware of only two of the “0ig %” nutrients considered essential during regnancy and breastfeeding.2As.A such as social withdrawal and lack of emotions. "he investigators concluded that omega-% fatty acids resent Anovel and e'citing thera eutic ossibilities.

regnant women and women considering regnancy should not eat certain ty es of fish because of contaminants which have been shown to harm an unborn infant's nervous system..1. An algal-based source of )*A has been added as an ingredient to some eggs.& of the 1ociety for 5omen#s *ealth . and more than seven out of ten (E6 ercent+ have absolutely no idea how to get )*A into their diet.'oli# a#id. herring and salmon. nutrition bars and other foods. by taking a multivitamin. -. or folic acid su lements. )*A is found in cold-water oily fish. by paying attention to &hat they eat. together. A ho eful CD ercent wished that )*A could be added to chocolate. Algal- based DHA is also available as a supplement. 'ortunately. ercent+. *owever. fortified foods and supplements. such as mackerel./ said /hyllis 3reenberger. resident and 8. *owever. . orange =uice (%P ercent+ and asta (6I ercent+. roviding a safe and healthy alternative. more than two-thirds of women (.of folic acid and DE ercent named dairy roducts as sources of calcium.5. 5omen should check nutrition labels and ask their grocers and health care roviders what foods #ontain algal-based sour#es of DHA. #al#ium &ith vitamin D and DHA +mega-3 .esearch. "he recommendation for folic acid can be met by consuming enriched cereals and grains. In addition to eating a balance of foods during regnancy and breastfeeding.1. more than a third (%D ercent+ chose cereal or cereal bars. 8alcium is readily available in dairy roducts and fortified foods. according to the <. &ther 1urvey 2indingsF O 5ishful thinkingF If they could choose to add )*A to a food. O 8alcium with vitamin )F C.K ercent+ say their doctor has never told them anything about )*A. O )*A &mega-%F %77 mgGday for a healthy regnancy and ongoing health. they make up the ig 3 essential nutrients that are important before.777 mg of calcium with 677 I< of vitamin ) er day for strong bones and teeth. soymilk. &omen #an easily obtain these nutrients through a balan#ed diet. The ig 3 for aby and -e . women should include the following nutrients in their dietsF O 2olic acidF P77 mcgGday to make healthy cells and revent certain birth defects. during and after pregnan#y. followed by milk (%. 2ood and )rug Administration.

Healthy Brains Begin Long Before Birth BY ARLENE F. and %% ercent are unable to eat foods they normally like. /heck out Brain !evelopment for sketches of the developing brain' But why does a newly developed ear cell end up being in the ear and not in the brain& or a stomach cell not become a toenail0 #)ve always been ama1ed that cells have the ability to become what they become' 2ortunately& there is an article that helps e(plain why that happens' #t is titled 3ow !oes a /ell Know What #t s 4upposed to Be0' #t)s part of the articles on 5mbryological !evelopment you may find 6uite interesting' What Can You Do Before Conception? 7ccording to 8live Morton& "h'!'& neonatal specialist& the best chance you have for having a healthy child and fewer problems in parenting may depend on what you do in planning for conception' 4he encourages anyone who is considering parenthood to 9make a conscious and socially responsible choice to have a child—which includes commitment to caring. but di s to =ust %P ercent with those who have a high school di loma or less.ating more. HARDER. O ?ess educated are at a disadvantageF Awareness of )*A is higher (P6 ercent+ among women who have college degrees. MA. dedication to the required hours of time and energy. KK ercent of res ondents said they would be interested in urchasing a roduct that would hel them get )*A without having to eat fish. and the desire to guide and nurture your wanted new family member for as long as needed': .neurons are added every minute.O .-&--. O A little knowledge goes a long wayF &nce advised of )*A#s benefits B including how it hel s brain. 5hen informed that regnant women are advised to minimi!e or avoid fish because it may contain mercury. heart and eye develo ment in infants and lowers the risk of re-term birth and the baby blues B more than nine out of ten say they would include )*A in their diet while regnant (D6 ercent+. but en=oying it lessF 2orty-two ercent eat more food than usual during regnancy. MFT "It is not economical to go to bed early to save the candles if the result is twins." —Chinese Prover As # say in $he "arenting %ame& parenting isn t for wimps' But you will have an easier time if you can enter into the e(perience with a commitment to the gift of life that will be your child' The Amazing Growth of the Brain During Pregnancy #f you could see how the brain grows during pregnancy& you would be more aware of how it needs good nourishment throughout it)s development' *ust imagine& at times during brain development& +. O "he fish factorF :ust CE ercent of women are aware that fish is a source of )*A.

4ee the first parenting strategy& 3ave a "lan and Know <ourself '= 3ere are some things you must avoid to the greatest e(tent possible because they can have a negative impact on the fetus s developing brain@ Doud arguing or violence between the parents' $he noisy angry voices andEor physical assaults can cause high an(iety and stress for the fetus' Watching violent movies or $F shows can have the same effect' Mother s chronic an(iety about being a parent& finances& or whatever may be bothering her may leave an imprint of an(iety on the e(pected baby s brain cells' Both parents Gand certainly the motherH smoking& which creates hyperactivity for the fetus' 4moke in the womb stops the fetus s ability to breath' $his also increases an(iety feelings because of never knowing when the interruption will occur' 7lcohol& illegal drugs& prescription drugs& and even many over-the-counter drugs can cause irritation and hyperactivity in the fetus& and sometimes brain damage' .4uch a commitment is in contrast to what can happen if you are having a baby primarily to save your marriage& because all your friends are having babies& or engage in unprotected se(' 3owever& even if your baby s birth wasn t e(actly a planned event& or if the circumstances around which conception took place were less than ideal& you can still acknowledge that you re responsible for the health of your child s brain and can meet that challenge' Most of all& if you choose to have a child& one of the first things you can do for your baby s brain is to have a healthy body at the time of conception' $his will give you a better chance of having a healthy baby with a healthy brain& for your growing fetus needs the best nutrition you can provide in order for allow nature to build the structure of the brain so that nurturing will shape its function' .4ee 3ow <ou /an 4hape <our /hild)s Brain and /hange the World'= What foods should you& whether you)re the mother-to-be or the father-to-be& eat to prepare your body for a baby0 4ee $rying to /onceive0 2ive /hanges to Make to <our !iet Now' $he sooner you start eating well& the more likely you are to get pregnant' 2oods and fertility are linked> by sticking with a balanced diet& you will boost your chances of conceiving and of having a healthy baby?whose brain will be ready for you to give him or her all the love you want to share' What Can You Do to Have a Healthy Ba y With a Healthy Brain? #n addition to making a commitment to parenting& here are some things that you can do during pregnancy to assist the growing embryo and fetus to develop positive neural pathways& according to Morton@ $alk and sing to the e(pected new life in calm voices' 5(press your love for& and truly wanting& this new family member' Aead out loud early childhood stories to the developing child' "lay music that has a B(B beat that matches the new baby s heartbeat' 5(press Coy& laughter& respect& and compassion to one another' 3andle traumatic situations as calmly as possible' Dearn about yourselves and your own emotionally stuck areas& seeking the best way to heal yourselves& vowing that 9the buck stops here:? that any negative family patterns will end with you and not be passed on to your children' .

Parenting From the Inside Out: How a Deeper SelfUnderstanding Can Help You Raise Children ho !hri"e Why have # titled this article I3ow to 4hape <our /hild)s Brain and /hange the World0I 4imply because # believe that when we raise children who are resourceful& resilient and compassionate& they will make a difference in the world we have left them' 7nd # believe the best way to raise such children is to give them the love and guidance their brains needs& for their brains are the seat of all they think& do and feel' Det)s take a look at that brain& for it is the immature brain that causes a two-year-old to throw a tantrum' #t is the increasingly sophisticated brain of a ten-year-old that allows him to score a soccer goal' #t is the not-yet-fully-formed brains of teenagers that cause many of them to engage in risky behavior' #n short& it is a spongy organ that allows us to e(perience a myriad of emotions ranging from love to hate& from sadness to ecstasy' 8ur human brain allows us to create poetry& design bridges& cure disease& compose symphonies& send a man to the moon& or feel compassion for fellow human beings' Unfortunately& our brains are also capable of causing a person to lie& cheat& steal and manipulate others& to feel depressed& unloved and unwanted& to e(press hatred toward people of another color& to commit suicide& to become a terrorist' #t is the brain that feels rage when someone unintentionally cuts that person off on the road& triggering a wild pursuit of the offending driver that possibly ends with a gun shot' 2or a long time we ve talked about emotions and thoughts as though they vaguely had something to do with the mysterious brain& but until recently little was discussed about the brain itself' "erhaps that was because for thousands of years the brain was an enigma' 7ristotle& a man who obviously made good use of his brain& thought the brain was less important than the heart& which he considered the seat of our mental processes' 7nd though 4igmund 2reud devoted his life to probing the workings of the mind& in JKL. he admitted that& 9$he brain science of my time is not up to the task of e(plaining patients symptoms': $oday our knowledge about the brain has e(panded e(ponentially and this is of immense importance to parents' By learning more about the workings of the brain& you will be able to help your child create positive thoughts and emotions& rather than negative thoughts . the immaturity of the infant's brain means that experiences will play a significant role in determining the unique features of emerging brain connections. MFT “The development of the necessary complexity of the child's growing brain depends upon both genetic information and experiences. In other words. MA. HARDER. xperience shapes even the very brain structures that will allow the perception of those experiences to be sensed and remembered.How You Can !hape Your Chil"#$ Brain an" Change the Worl" BY ARLENE F.! — Daniel !iegel an" Mary Hart#ell.

that lead to actions that are destructive for both your child and the world around him or her' The Most Co$%le& Me'hanis$ in the (niverse Wouldn t 7ristotle and 2reud be ama1ed if they were alive today0 $hey could Coin neuroscientists using powerful new technology that allows a researcher to watch the firing of a single neuron' With new discoveries every month& they would be able to help us e(plore the brain s incredibly interconnected network of neurons' What a network it is.billion neurons is connected to an average of J-&--. 5ach of the brain s +. When neurons are 9turned on: by connecting to other neurons& new proteins are synthesi1ed' $his allows additional synaptic connections' #n other words& e(perience Gthe firing of neuronsH turns on 9genetic machinery: Gthe ability of the body to create proteinsH that allows the brain to change internal connections Gcreating memoryH which sets up the brain to be ready for other e(periences to reinforce the initial e(perience' /onse6uently& these highly interconnected linkages can create a sense of well-being and a world view that sees the best in other people' $hese linkages can also create irrational responses and phobias that persist despite obCective evidence to the contrary' 2or e(ample& imagine you are taking your young daughter for a special train ride in the city and you re running a little late' 7s you hurriedly descend the crowded stairway& someone behind your child stumbles& falling onto her and causing her to fall headfirst to the bottom of the stairs' $his causes her sudden and intense pain Gthough no serious inCuryH Cust as the train gives a loud whistle' With lightning speed her brain fires off neurons and she lays down a pathway that associates hurrying& crowds and trains with pain and fear' $his is because 9neurons which fire together& wire together&: according to the /anadian physician-psychologist !onald 3ebb' #f you are able to connect meaningfully with your daughter as she screams in pain and fright& and if you are sensitive to how she later talks about the incident& she will be able to look back on the event as simply an unfortunate accident' #f you don t understand that to a little girl such an event could be e(perienced by her brain as trauma& or if you Cust tell her to stop crying& that 9everything will be all right&: she may later become agoraphobic and avoid all crowds and trains' 8f course& what will actually happen will depend on how her brain processed the event and other factors& such as her temperament and previous e(periences& but knowing how the brain creates pathways of panic can help you respond to her more sensitively' The Brain#$ Growth %&'()%&! )nteraction With !ignificant *ther$ We are a social species' $he brain s capacity to think& to feel& and to act is dependent on the interaction between child and significant other?the all-important mother& father& .other neurons' $his creates an ama1ingly comple( network of trillions of synapses& or neuronal connections& like some vast spider web' #t is estimated that the possible number of onEoff firing patterns& as chemicals are passed through synapses between one neuron and another& is ten times ten one million times& or ten to the millionth power.

foster parents& older sibling& or other caregiver in the infant s 9family': #t isn t a matter of nature vs' nurture' Nature needs nurture' #n fact& nature needs nurture so much that adoptive parents are also& in a real sense& biological parents' /hildren need bonding or attachment to another person in order for the immature brain to evolve in the most optimal way' $his attachment begins with a nonverbal communication in which the mother& or other 9attachment figure&: aligns him. Aecently neuroscientists made an interesting observation' $hey noticed that when a person moved his arm to pick up a book off the table that a certain neuron in his brain was turned on' What was not e(pected& but also not totally surprising& was that the same neuron will fire if that person simply watches someone else deliberately reach for a book' $hese neurons were therefore called 9mirror neurons: and are found in various parts of the brain that link motor action and perception' .euron$ Allow ($ to Develop -+in"$ight.or herself to the infant s needs and emotional states' When the baby cries because she is hungry and an Iattachment figureI Gwe)ll refer to this person as the motherH feeds her& the infant comes to know that her hunger needs can be met' 3er body e(periences a state of satisfaction because someone was attuned to her needs' When the baby cries because she is wet and cold and the mother changes her diaper and she is no longer uncomfortable& she learns that her physical needs can be met' When the baby cries because of some internal distress and she is held& rocked and soothed with gentle words and stroking of her skin& she discovers that there is comfort to be found in the world' $hrough the mother s regular response to the needs of the child& the child develops a sense of integration both internally and interpersonally' #n other words& it is through the child s intimate relationship and bonding to someone who is 9irrationally: in love with the child that the baby s brain develops a positive pattern or mental model for how it sees itself and others' #f she has had her needs met because someone was attuned to them& she will be able to tune into her own mind and body and will come to trust the world and the people in it& discovering the Coy of being a human being' #f she was unable to get her needs met& or if her mother was not attuned to her emotional states and was distant and distracted when having to feed her or change her diaper& the insecure attachment the child e(periences will reverberate in her internal and interpersonal world' 4he will be emotionally distant from others and the 6uality of her relationships are likely to be superficial and detached' #t is true& of course& that even without a caring and understanding parent& or other caregiver& a person can still learn many things and the brain can accumulate many facts' But it is the significant person& early in a child s life& who has the best opportunity to demonstrate to the child what it means to be human?and to influence how the facts the child learns in school and in life can be used to make the world a better place' #n the brain of a small child is the potential for becoming a great adult& one who is resourceful& resilient and compassionate& provided someone is regularly attuned to her needs' +irror .

$heir discovery may hold a key to how we might better understand how people communicate& for it turns out that watching someone doing something deliberate Gthe act can t be Cust a random moving of a part of the bodyH causes these mirror neurons to 9turn on&: indicating that the brain can detect the intention of another person' 7s !an 4iegel& neuroscientist& says& 93ere is evidence not merely for a possible early mechanism of imitation and learning& but also for the creation of mindsight& the ability to create an image of the internal state of another)s mind' ' ' ' Mirror neurons may also link the perception of emotional e(pressions to the creation of those states inside the observer' #n this way& when we perceive another)s emotions& automatically& unconsciously& that state is created inside us': We ve all had e(periences in which we feel as though the emotional state of another person reverberates within us' 2or e(ample& you and # may be talking and reali1e that we are communicating on a deep level' # know that you absolutely 9get: what # am feeling inside because your 9feedback: in both comments and nodding of the head is consistent with my internal state' 4imilarly& # 9get: what you re saying and feeling& which you validate by telling me you feel heard and understood' $he conversation flows because we both allow ourselves Gthrough our mirror neurons and other brain functionsH to be open to the essence of the other person at that moment& what 4iegel calls 9mindsight': #f we could all develop great mindsight& there would be far fewer misunderstandings in the world' But how can parents further this kind of communication with their children0 "ractice' $he more often children e(perience mindsight& that is& the more often their feelings and thoughts are validated accurately& the more likely it is that they will be able to perceive accurately what is happening in the mind of the another person' # think of it as a matter of strengthening the child s mirror neurons' We help our children develop greater soccer skills when we encourage them to practice& we help our children become proficient in playing a musical instrument by insisting they practice& and we build our child s mental and emotional skills Ghelping the child lay down pathways of e(perience in the brainH when we are open to being with them in the most congruent way we can' Unfortunately& it is easy to miss the connection when parents are in a hurry or want to teach a lesson 6uickly without recogni1ing they aren t on the same wavelength as the child' Det me give you an e(ample # remember from long& long ago' My small daughter picked a flower from the front of the house and my mother said& 98h& you don t want to do that': # didn t say anything& but # thought& it seems to be that my toddler picked the flower because she wanted to pick it' #t was my mother who didn t want her to do it' 4o in that moment my daughter received an incongruent message and likely was pu11led as to whether what she thought she wanted was what she really wanted' 3ad # known then how to repair this inaccurate communication& # would have said something like& 98h honey& # can see you wanted to pick the flower' But %randma likes to see them growing in front of the house' Det s put this in a vase and then try to remember that when %randma visits that it would be nice to have a flowerbed with lots of pretty colors': .

fetuses at term' $hirty fetuses were played a two-minute audiotape of their own mother reading a poem and 3.euron$ /orm !ignificant Pathway$ 0ong Before Birth 5vidence for the brain s capacity to learn in the womb comes from research published in the international Cournal "sychological #cience in +--3' !r' Barbara Kisilevsky& a Mueen)s University professor of nursing along with a team of psychologists at Mueen)s and obstetricians in 3ang1hou& /hina & tested N.If we learn to be open to what is really happening in the minds of our children?whether they are mad& sad& glad& or scared?we will give them a priceless lesson in mindsight that will last a lifetime' 7s they get older& they will be able to respond to others in the same open& caring and loving manner' .fetuses were played the voice of a female stranger reading the poem' $he researchers found that the fetuses responded to their own mother)s voice with heart-rate acceleration and to the stranger)s voice with a heart-rate deceleration' $he responses lasted during the two-minute tape as well as for at least two minutes after the offset of the voices' I$his is an e(tremely e(citing finding that provides evidence of sustained attention& memory and learning by the fetus&I says !r Kisilevsky' I$he fetuses learn about their mother)s voice in the womb and then prefer it after birth' 8ur findings provide evidence that in-utero e(perience has an impact on newbornEinfant behaviour and development and that voice recognition may play a role in mother-infant attachment': #n order for an infant to be able to respond to her mother s voice& it is clear that the baby would need to have already created pathways for speech perception& the beginning of language ac6uisition before birth' 2or what you can do to support healthy brain development in-utero& see 3ealthy Brains Begin at /onception& and 5ven Before $hen' 1iolence i$ Dangerou$ to the Health of a Chil"#$ Brain We do not live in a peaceful world' 8ur children are e(posed to physical& psychological& verbal and social violence' $elevision shows our troops and the #ra6i people devastated by the conflict in that ravaged country' 4tories of rape& spousal abuse& gang warfare and guns in the classroom are splashed across the front pages' Movies are filled with guns and violence' Fideo games may be 9only: simulations of the real world& but their violent images make impressions on young minds' 7lthough less intense& everyday abuses are carried out by cruel people who feel no connection with their fellow humans and e(press no guilt for their actions' 3ow are our children s brains affected by all this violence0 2or one thing& violence creates stress that causes the release of cortisol& a steroid hormone that helps suppress the immune system and slow physical growth' /ortisol release associated with stress has also been shown to change brain activity and& thus& brain structure itself' "art of the most harmful effect in terms of the developing brain is the damage done to the hippocampus and the prefrontal corte(& which inhibits the brain s ability to learn and remember and the ability of children to accurately interpret and respond to social situations' /onse6uently& if you want to give your child a healthy brain& you will reduce to an absolute minimum the violence to which your child is e(posed' Marriages in which the .

ee" to Act Deci$ively if A u$e Doe$ Begin #n "reventing !rug and 7lcohol 7buse # discuss what you can do to help prevent your elementary and school-age child from using these substances that are so dangerous to growing brains' What if you are the parent of a very small baby' #s there anything you can do then0 <es& begin by following my $welve 4trategies for /onfident and "ractical "arenting' # believe& based on my own e(perience& in which # didn)t understand or follow these strategies to the degree # wish # had& that they will go a long way toward keeping your child from drug use' #f you are the parent of a child who smokes& drinks& or uses drugs Gor even if you are concerned that some day your child mightH& please read "utting 7ffirmations for <our $eenager #nto "ractice' # also recommend a !F! called 9Which Brain !o <8U Want0: !esigned for teenagers and produced by !aniel 7men& M!& an internationally recogni1ed e(pert in brain imaging and child& adolescent and adult psychiatry& it demonstrates the difference between a healthy brain and one that has been impacted by drugs and alcohol' $he program includes interviews with young people who have used all kinds of popular recreational drugs& together with images of their brains& and shows the effect these substances have on how they think feel& how they act and how well they get along with others' Towar" What &n" Are You !haping Your Chil"#$ Brain? <ou may want to stimulate your child s brain by choosing bright colors for the nursery' <ou may buy any toy labeled 9educational: and enroll your child in a do1en activities to stretch his mind and build neuronal pathways that can increase his #'M' by ten more points' Why0 !o you want your child to be smarter so he can make more money or rise higher on the corporate ladder0 Wanting your child to be successful in the world is not wrong' But # believe you will feel better about all your hard work if you think about developing your child s mind as though you are allowing the core spirit of who he or she can be to blossom' # wish # had known how to approach parenting more in that spirit when # became a parent more than forty years ago' # believe that when a person is given a child& by birth or adoption& that parent has an opportunity to create a better world in the future by drawing forth the unmarred potential that lies at the core of every human being' $hat innocent soul can be crushed by violence& it can be put into a straight Cacket by adults who demand adherence to rigid rules of .parents fight and yell at one another yet are kept together 9for the sake of the kids&: are not doing their child s brain any favors' 7 child raised in a family in which there is constant conflict will have a mental model of the world as an unsafe place& where caring is not a priority and where one has to constantly look out for oneself& because others will not look out for you' G4ee the second strategy for confident and practical parenting@ Maintain %ood Aelations With <our /hild)s 8ther "arent'H $o help your child create a meaningful future& peace and stability must be a priority in the heart and in the home' )f You Are (na le to Prevent Alcohol an" Drug ($e of Your Teenager2 You .

Lou need to stick to a balanced diet to boost your chances of conceiving and of having a healthy baby.eviewed by the 0aby8enter -edical Advisory 0oard ?ast u datedF 1e tember 677. 2or both men and women. the more likely you are to get regnant. $mprove your diet "he sooner you start eating well. 2ind your ideal body weight. . e-mail rint Highlights Im rove your diet 5hat to avoid "ake a vitamin-mineral su lement.behavior and narrow thinking& it can be lost by a lack of structure or e(cessive praise so the child becomes narcissistic or rudderless' No matter what your intentions are for the kind of person you want your child to become& you will shape your child s brain' $he 6uestion is& in what direction0 <our child absorbs the essence of who you are in a thousand ways& and if who you are is a well-integrated& balanced person& the chances are you ll do a fine Cob of creating the right conditions for the development of your child s mind' # say this because # like to use the concept of 96ualities: to support positive behavior& both mine and my clients' 2or e(ample& if your life e(presses compassion& serenity& Coy and beauty& the way you live your life will reverberate with your child' $his view is e(pressed with great insight by the #rish philosopher and poet *ohn 8 !onohue in his book& $eauty% The Invisible mbrace@ 9$here is a kindness in beauty which can inform and bless a lesser force adCacent to it' #t has been shown& for instance& that when there are two harps tuned to the same fre6uency in a room& one a large harp and the other smaller& if a chord is struck in the bigger harp it fills and infuses the little harp with the grandeur and beauty of its resonance and brings it into tuneful harmony' $hen& the little harp sounds out its own tune in its own voice' $his is one of the unnoticed ways in which a child learns to become herself' "erhaps the most powerful way parents rear children is through the 6uality of their presence and the atmosphere that pertains in the in-between times of each day' Unconsciously the child absorbs this and hopefully parents send out enough tuneful spirit for the child to come into harmony with her own voice': Whether consciously or not& whether with beauty or ugliness& the 9harp: you pluck is heard by your child' Neural pathways in his brain will be formed by the tune you play' <ou have the power to shape your child s brain and the gift of life that has been entrusted to your care' With love& and some knowledge of how the brain works& you can make a significant difference on this fragile planet for the global human family by helping your child become the best he can be' Tryin# to concei&e= 2i&e chan#es to make to your diet no. 3et lots of folic acid B at least P77 micrograms a day. food and fertility are linked.

%hat to avoid If your eating habits leave something to be desired B and many eo le's do B you'll have to make some ad=ustments.1. All of these substances and habits can harm a develo ing fetus. 0eing over. In addition. !inc. at least 122 mi#rograms a day. so steam or cook vegetables in a small amount of water to reserve the folate. 1hedding some ounds. eat lower-mercury fish such as salmon and canned light tuna once or twice a week.ven hot dogs or deli meats should be heated until they are steaming before you eat them if you are regnant.P milligrams (mg+. overweight women have more regnancy and birth com lications. Lou may also want to cut back on caffeine. and smoked or raw meats should be avoided entirely during regnancy. $uit. you can eat folate-rich foods. ?earn more about caffeine and fertility. -ost women of child-bearing age should get P77 micrograms (mcg+ daily. 2or some women. see our list of the best virgin drinks+. won't affect your fertility. And you may not ovulate at all if you've lost a drastic amount of weight or are obese. /rocessed meats should be consumed in small amounts. less than %77 mg a day or about the e$uivalent of three cu s of coffee. 1ome solid adviceF 8ut out or only occasionally drink alcohol. Take a vitamin-mineral supplement. and fortified breads and cereals. it's best to avoid high-mercury fish such as shark. 2or more on fish safety. your doctor may suggest that you boost your daily intake to P. 0ut there's a downside to being water-soluble. while you're attem ting to get regnant is a good idea.or underweight can make it harder to get regnant. so taking a renatal vitamin ensures that you're getting enough folic acid and other nutrients to boost your chances of conceiving. nuts. and milk every day. citrus fruits. Although fish is generally very healthy. A good over-the-counter renatal vitamin should contain more than the minimum recommendation of folic acid. @ot getting enough nutrients can affect your eriods. Although you can meet almost all of your nutritional needs through a balanced diet. Lou can lose a lot of this vitamin in cooking water. not a substitute for a sound diet. according to the <.' erts generally agree that low to moderate caffeine consum tion. or P mg. cheese. "his vitamin has been roven to reduce a baby's risk of neural-tube birth defects such as s ina bifida. and diabetes. and underweight women are more likely to have a low-birth-weight baby. . If you have a family history of neural-tube birth defects or take medication for sei!ures. if you smoke. swordfish. cancer. and it is linked to a lower incidence of heart attacks. And since regular over-thecounter multivitamins may contain megadoses of vitamins and minerals that could be harmful to a develo ing baby. which can be dangerous to your unborn baby. "he research on whether caffeine can affect fertility is mi'ed. there's an e'ce tion to this ruleF 3etting too much folate may hide a 0-C6 deficiency. 1to using recreational drugs and. it's smart to switch to a ill formulated s ecifically for regnant women. so your body will flush out the e'cess if you consume too much. 8ertain vitamins and nutrients B such as vitamins 8 and . and calcium-rich foods such as yogurt. strokes. "alk with your doctor about the right renatal su lement for you. king mackerel. but your doctor may recommend that you cut caffeine out entirely to lay it safe. the e$uivalent of 7. . Ask your doctor or midwife if you think you may be at risk. "hose who consume a vegetarian diet may also need Qitamin ) and 0C6 su lements in addition to e'tra rotein. 0et lots of foli# a#id . grains such as whole wheat bread. 2olic acid is a water-soluble vitamin. since you want to be as close as ossible to your recommended weight when you conceive. which is sometimes a roblem for vegetarians. Instead. legumes. between . starting at least a month before you conceive and continuing throughout your first trimester.77 and K77 mcg B what you'll need during regnancy. several servings of fruit. Lou may find it articularly hard to eat well when you're at work or arenting other children. making it difficult to redict when you ovulate. 0ecause mercury can accumulate in your body and linger there for more than a year. (2or non-alcoholic alternatives. many e' erts believe that even the healthiest eaters can use e'tra hel . /ublic *ealth 1ervice (<1/*1+.. such as dark green leafy vegetables like s inach or kale. read our article. Also.. and folic acid B are im ortant for making healthy s erm. . whole grains. 'ind your ideal body &eight. <se our calculator to figure out if you should lose or gain weight. too. and tilefish while you're trying to conceive.emember that a su lement is a safeguard. .777 mcg. or gaining a few if you're underweight. certain ty es are high in mercury.

. which isn't a good way to start a regnancy. start or increase an e'ercise routine.'treme weight loss from crash dieting can de lete your body's nutritional stores. aim to lose one to two ounds a week. If you're overweight.5hile you're following a smart eating lan with low-fat. . a safe rate of weight loss. high-fiber foods.

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