Re-reading an old post recently, I found this comment by Tucker Max:
I took four tablespoons [of flaxseed oil] a few hours ago, instead of the regular two, thinking that maybe I could load up and it might help me get back to normal quickly. The pain is pretty much the same, and I just brushed and my gums bled, so obviously the flaxseed oil takes more than a few hours to affect those problems. But–and I haven’t measured this with reaction tests like you do–I feel considerably more mentally alert right now. I don’t know if I felt like this before, and maybe I didn’t notice it because it came on slowly, or maybe I need four tablespoons at once to see a difference, but I really do feel the difference.
By coincidence I had noticed the same thing the day before: I was distinctly sharper than usual a few hours after drinking flaxseed oil (two tablespoons), as measured by my arithmetic test. I had noticed the same thing twice before — years earlier — but had decided not to study it in detail because it was much easier to study the long-term effects of flaxseed oil.
I wrote Tucker to say he had been right. He replied:
Yeah, there’s zero doubt in my mind now that fish oil/omega 3 is crucial to brain function. If I don’t take it, I can’t write effectively.
That’s very interesting. Sure, drugs have short-term effects. If you ingest caffeine, for example, it will make you more awake for a few hours. But drugs are dangerous. The notion that a necessary nutrient has benefits that last only a few hours is new. (The notion that a necessary nutrient can make us distinctly sharper will also be new to most people, but not to readers of this blog.) Perhaps we should eat omega-3 every few hours. You’ve heard of RDAs (Recommended Daily Allowances). Perhaps the future will contain RHAs (Recommended Hourly Allowances).
If you haven’t been reading this blog for several years, see these posts for background. Flaxseed oil also will make you smarter long-term, e.g., the next day. The short-term effect is in addition to the long-term effect.