After I posted my recent omega-3 results, Tim Lundeen, a Bay Area software developer, commented that his scores on an arithmetic test had improved after he had increased his omega-3 intake because of my results. I invited him to guest-blog about this:
For the last year [Tim wrote] I’ve been been working on feeling better, trying to recover some of the energy and mental acuity that (I like to think) I used to have. As part of my program, I got Dr. Ryuta Kawashima’s book, Train Your Brain. His MRI studies have shown that simple arithmetic problems, done with time pressure, improve overall brain function. His book has 60 problem sets, each with 100 simple arithmetic problems such as 7 x 9 or 13 – 5.
Here are my results from 90 days of tests, including several breaks of 1 to 3 weeks (lower numbers are better):
I started out at about 110 seconds per problem set, improved to 80-82 seconds per set, and got stuck there. Each time I took a break due to travel or other distractions, I would start up at about 95 seconds and quickly come back down to my 80-82 second range.
Until the last 4 days. As part of my program to feel better, I started taking a DHA supplement. (DHA is found in fish oil. It is an omega-3 fatty acid that is preferred by the brain). I started taking 200 mg/day of DHA about 4 months ago, and didn’t notice any effects, good or bad. So two months ago I increased the dose to 400 mg/day. Again I didn’t notice any effects. After reading about the effects of Seth’s omega-3 supplements, I increased my DHA by 400 mg/day to 800 mg/day. The supplements, plus omega-3 eggs, some flax oil (partially converted in the body to DHA), and some fish and oysters, put me well over the 1g/day recommended level. (When I have fish or oysters I take only 600 mg of DHA instead of 800mg.)
I do the arithmetic test about 8 am every morning. I take the DHA supplement about 9 am. The effect of the 400 mg increase was immediate: The next morning my score dropped to 76-77 seconds, about 5% better than I’ve ever seen on a regular basis. I made the change 5 days ago. The last 4 days are 4 of my 5 all-time best scores. It is fascinating to have another data point connecting brain function with omega-3 supplements.
The supplements I take are from iNutritionals. They are $0.58/200 mg capsule ($35/bottle). They are from algae and are tasteless/odorless. No aftertaste or unpleasant effects. I tried a fish oil supplement a couple of years ago and couldn’t take it because of the fishy taste and aftertaste.
About me: I’m CEO of Web Crossing, Inc. My best-known product is Microsoft Works for the Macintosh, which sold millions of copies.