Though the importance in relation to growth and health of omega 3s have been known since the 1930s, in really only been relatively recently, around the 1990s, that the beneficial effects on the brain have come into light.
Jmendez is right. Omega-3 and omega-6 were distinguished from one another in 1930. However, it was not until the 1970’s that the link between omega-3 and cardiovascular health was made as epidemiologists determined that societies that regularly consume large amounts of long-chain omega-3 suffer from less heart problems. The 1990’s saw the beginnings of the clinical use of omega-3, but only in patients at risk for heart disease.
The connection between the brain and omega-3 was only made in the last decade or so (the early 2000’s) after studies on both animal and human revealed a link between high levels of omega-3 acids and the reduced occurrence of certain mental illnesses. Omega-3 supplements are now sometimes used in the attempt to treat depression, schizophrenia, ADHD and cognitive decline.
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