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Can Fish Oil Prevent Damage from Strokes?

A stroke, also known as a "brain attack," happens when blood flow to a part of your brain stops. This can cause brain damage and even death.

According to the National Stroke Association, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in America and the leading cause of adult disability.

If preventing a stroke isn't entirely possible, is there anything you can do to prevent damage to your brain and body?

Fish oil is one option.

Quickly diagnosing if a stroke is happening and increasing blood flow to those parts of the brain could prevent permanent, untreatable damage.

In a study published in the Public Library of Scientists in 2013, scientists administered DHA, a component of fish oil, to mice and found that it reduced the damage inflicted by a stroke.

The scientists looked at ischemic stroke, which is a type of stroke resulting from a blockage in the blood vessels that supply blood to your brain.

The mice and divided into three groups. One group received a collection of omega-3 fats, a second group was given omega-6 fats and the last group was given a saline solution. In general, the group given omega-3 fatty acids showed 43 percent smaller infarction 90 minutes after the stoke was induced. When they added fish oils, it decreased infarction volume by 53 percent.

Fish oil can be obtained by eating fish or by taking a supplement. Aside from these stroke-related benefits, fish oils can have numerous health benefits relating to the heart and blood system.

Should you be taking fish oil to reduce your risk of a stroke?

Dr. Mike discusses the research and if you should be taking fish oil supplements to help lower your risk of stroke.