How to build a healthier brain

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 15 March 2016

einsteinFrom ADD/ADHD to Alzheimer’s and everything in between, the incidence of neurological diseases is climbing. If we really want to decrease the incidence of them we need to start looking at prevention in a serious way. So where do we start?

The brain is the most nutrient dependent, energy dependent, and toxin vulnerable organ we have. That means we have to feed the brain the right nutrients so the brain can produce the amount of energy it needs while at the same time protecting the brain from toxins.

Nutrients that are the most important for the brain and are also the most lacking in the Standard American Diet (SAD) include good fats, clean water, and quality proteins. The brain is 48% lipid, 77% water, and 35% protein. In this article I will focus on lipids otherwise known as fats.

Brain lipids affect structure & function. An omega 3 deficiency will induce brain dysfunction while the brain decreases in size and function with Trans fats. Docosahexanoic acid (DHA) is one of the really important omega 3’s for the brain. Canada has one of the lowest levels of DHA found in maternal breast milk (US is the lowest) where Japan has one of the highest. On the flip side Canada has one of the highest prescriptions for Ritalin for ADHD where Japan has one of the lowest. Studies have also shown that some children with ADHD responded to omega 3 supplementation alone.

Good fats are one piece of the puzzle. This makes them a key nutrient to supplement with. My favourites are Omegagenics 10 by Metagenics, EPA/DHA 720 by Metagenics and Omegalicious by Botanica.

So now I would love to hear from you. What kind of good fats do you have in your diet and do you supplement? Leave your comments below and I'll have a new article for you next week on Doctor as Teacher Tuesdays!

2 Replies to “How to build a healthier brain”


What are some examples of good fat?

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

Hi Coady,
Some good fats would include coconut oil, grass-fed butter, avocado oil, or grapeseed oil for cooking. For dressings you can use olive oil and flaxseed oil. Foods that contain good fats would be salmon, anchovies, sardines, herring, nuts, seeds, avocado, and olives.

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