I Hope This Doesn’t Make Your Head Hurt

There are many dangers that can come from participating in physical activities.  In many cases, athletes are required to put their bodies on the line to perform the best that they can.  Unfortunately, this can lead to many different types of injuries that are detrimental to the athlete’s well being.  There should always be an attempt to avoid injuries but, in many cases, they cannot be evaded.

One of the most common types of injuries is a muscle tear/sprain.  To many people this may not seem like a big problem, but a muscle tear/strain can be extremely dangerous.  In addition to rest, protein is necessary to muscle repair and growth.  More details into this can be seen in a previous post.

Another common, yet dangerous, injury is the concussion.  Over 3.8 million concussions occur each year due to sports related injuries.  Although athletes with concussions are advised to rest and are not given anything else to help them, there may be other options available to improve their condition.

A study shows that high doses of fish oil (omega 3 fatty acid) can reduce the brain trauma caused by concussions.  Rats treated with fish oil received a 98% reduction in brain damage after a concussion when compared to rats not given fish oil.  This is believed to occur because omega 3 fatty acid has properties that appear to reduce inflammation.  In the case of a concussion, it can reduce the neural inflammation in the brain and therefore reduce brain damage.  Omega 3 is able to do this because it produces not as much and less active prostaglandins when it attaches to the prostaglandin-creating enzyme COX 1.  This is compared to the amount that the body usually produces with omega 6.  Prostaglandin is a chemical responsible for inflammation, so omega 3 helps to reduce inflammation by not producing as much of it.

Overall, omega 3 fatty acid can be useful in treating concussions and is recommended to be taken immediately if possible to reduce neural inflammation as much as possible.


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