106 – Omega-3, Concussion and Brain Trauma – My Interview with Dr. Michael Lewis

Omega-3, especially DHA, may help rebuild damaged brains!

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Dr. Michael Lewis

There is growing concern about concussions and brain trauma and how to rebuild damaged brains. There is emerging evidence that omega-3 fatty acids, notably DHA seem to offer benefit. The working theory is simple enough. DHA is the predominant fatty acid building block in the brain. When the brain is damaged, the body needs DHA for repair. We know that DHA is needed for normal brain function, it would make sense that it is needed for repair.

“Many doctors believe not much can be done for brain injured patients and they can be very reluctant to try anything that is out of the ordinary. Often, families are told their loved one is in a persistent vegetative state and there is no hope to change the situation. When a family suggest high doses of omega‐3s or other “alternative” or “complementary” therapies, doctors often resist using such therapies because the lack of evidence in the scientific literature even though there is little or no downside. Additionally concerning omega‐3s, doctors sometimes cite that omegas could cause internal bleeding or a stroke even though there is not a single clinical study in the scientific literature that has ever shown this to be of any clinical significance. Yet doctors will have most bedridden patient on potent blood thinning pharmaceuticals (e.g., heparin, Coumadin, warfarin) that completely block the blood’s ability to clot and are well known to put a patient at risk of bleeding or stroke.

Print Transcript

Tremendous advances have been made in surgical and intensive care unit (ICU) management of brain injuries. These advances have resulted in reduced mortality, particularly in traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, the secondary injury phase of brain injury is a prolonged pathogenic process (days to weeks) characterized by neuroinflammation, excitatory amino acids, free radicals, and ion imbalance. There are no approved therapies to directly address these underlying metabolic processes. Other than time and hope, there is nothing else modern medicine has to offer the severe brain injured patient in a comatose state.

Brain Health Education Research

The Brain Health Education and Research Institute was founded by Dr. Lewis, MD, MPH, MBA, FACPM, following his 31½‐year career in the U.S. Army. Colonel (Retired) Lewis was the DOD’s subject matter expert on omega‐3 use for the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of TBI and continues to work with the DoD in this area. His theories started with a simple concept: if omega‐3s are essential to build a fetal brain in utero, shouldn’t they be essential to rebuild a brain when damaged like you would use bricks to repair a brick wall? Omega‐3 fatty acids, particularly Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), are literally the bricks of the neuron cell wall.” (Excerpt from “High Dose Omega‐3s in Severe Brain Injury” by Dr. Michael Lewis.)

To learn more, visit Dr. Lewis’ websiteBrainHealthEducation.org You can read more about this topic in this article “Omega-3 long chain fatty acids and their use in traumatic brain injuries and concussions” written by Dr. Lewis. You can contact Dr. Lewis through his website.

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