Severe alcohol abuse carries with it a number of very severe long term health risks. Individuals who abuse alcohol are subject to severe health problems with the stomach, liver, and brain, just to name a few.
One of the serious risks to the brain that alcohol causes is an increased likelihood to develop dementia as a result of heavy drinking. It may be the case, however, that taking supplements containing Omega 3, which is most abundantly found in fish oil, can help protect heavy drinkers against some of the risk to brain damage caused by heavy drinking.
What Are Omega 3's?
Omega-3s are fatty acids, which are often referred to as the "good fats" because of the many health benefits that Omega-3 fatty acids deliver. High levels of Omega-3s have been shown to regulate key functions in the body, such as preventing depression, having low enough blood fat levels, and developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Omega-3s have also been linked with a lower chance of developing dementia, alzheimer's disease, and other degenerative neurological disorders. It seems that fatty acids, in addition to being necessary to improve the functioning of major organs, can help strengthen the cells of the body.
Most Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, but foods like walnuts and flaxseed oil are also sources of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3s and Heavy Drinkers
Loyola University in Chicago recently conducted a study that seems to imply that regular consumption of Omega-3 rich fish oil pills can drastically help to decrease the amount of serious damage to the brain that is done when heavily drinking. In the study, rats were given doses of alcohol alone and alcohol along with DHA, the Omega-3s in fish oil.
A review of the cognitive function of said rats revealed that those who consumed fish oil along with alcohol suffered a staggering 90% less memory loss than those who consumed alcohol alone. A study of this type has not yet been done on human subjects, but early tests like this one seem to infer that fish oil may hold the key to staving off early onset dementia in heavy drinkers.
The Best Choice Is Moderation
Drinking in moderate amounts may actually benefit the brain over the long run. Some studies have indicated that women who drink one drink or less per night and men who drink two or less may actually carry a lower risk of brain damage because their brain cells are effectively taught to be more resilient after continued moderate use of alcohol.
These positive effects become greatly diminished, however, when a person drinks more than a moderate amount of alcohol. Although fish oil and Omega-3s may offer some protection against memory loss, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that fish oil is a catch all cure against memory loss.
The best way for a heavy drinker to preserve their mental and physical health is for them to stop using alcohol completely.
Sobriety is Possible
A person who drinks to excess or feels that they cannot stop drinking should seek help immediately. With professional help, it is possible for a very heavy drinker to find the tools they need to stay alcohol-free for a lifetime.
By avoiding alcohol completely, a recovering alcoholic greatly increases their odds for a healthy future, and lowers their chances of suffering from brain damage and dementia. This is the safest and best option for ensuring total control and health in the face of an addiction to alcohol or any type of drug or other controlled substance.