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More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Like most people, I have close relatives and friends who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia. It’s heartbreaking to see people you care for fade away, as their memory or other thinking skills decline, ultimately reducing their ability to perform everyday activities. I don’t want to lose my mind, literally! I know that a healthy, whole foods, plant-based diet can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, but is there anything else one can do? The research is limited but has shown that having sufficient long-chain omega-3s, EPA and DHA, may be important for preserving brain function and structure.
When I interviewed Brenda Davis, RD and co-author of Becoming Vegan: Comprehensive Edition, we discussed the importance of eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like flax, chia and hemp seeds, as well as supplementing with DHA and EPA.
Many people believe that eating fish or supplementing with fish oil is the best way to get these important nutrients. As a vegan, I eschew consuming fish and fish products for ethical reasons. I also know that fatty fish may contain harmful pollutants, such as dioxin and mercury. Some find that fish oils are hard to digest. Fish oil can be rancid and have a foul odor. There are purified fish oil products available but keep in mind that fish populations are in decline, fish species are being lost, as are entire ecosystems. Our oceans are under stress and at risk of collapse. Eating fish and supplementing with fish oil for heart and brain health is simply not sustainable.
Fortunately there are vegan DHA and EPA supplements available today, derived from lab-grown algae, with no environmental contaminants. However DHA/EPA supplements can be expensive. I have tried some of the less expensive brands of vegan DHA/EPA. One was sweetened with stevia and the taste was awful. The mix of the sweetener with the savory taste of the oil is a bad idea. Also, although I kept the product refrigerated the taste got even worse over time. These products, like many fish oils can go rancid. Dr. Fuhrman’s DHA+EPA Purity has a very light, lemon flavor that stays fresh tasting until the last drop. And speaking of drops, unlike other brands of liquid DHA/EPA, you can reach the last drop in the bottle with the perfectly-sized dropper. The dropper in the other brand’s bottle was too short, and I had to struggle to get the last 5 or 6 doses. I know I can trust that Dr. Fuhrman has thought about every detail, making sure his products are the best quality available, down to the last drop.
Dr. Fuhrman’s DHA+EPA Purity gives me peace of mind that I am doing the best that I can to keep my brain healthy.