1. Two people.
2. Three tasks.
3. Two ways of varying omega-3.
4. Strong effects (that is, large t values).
5. Easy to obtain.
Does omega-3 affect the brain? This is a good place to start a research project because there is a reasonable chance the answer to the question “does omega-3 affect the brain?” is yes.
The placebo/expectations explanation — which, based on the lack of effect of placebos in most studies, is implausible to begin with — has trouble with several facts: 1. The initial discovery was a surprise. 2. Tim’s results involved comparison of two plausible doses. 3. Tim had earlier found that dose increases had no effect. 4. Tim’s results had a pattern I have never seen (and thus Tim couldn’t have expected). 5. My results had two different time courses.
Even more interesting than the idea that how much omega-3 we eat might affect how well our brains work are two more subtle ideas that are also becoming plausible: (a) the average diet (very low in omega-3) is very suboptimal and (b) improvement can be noticed quickly and easily.
In the latest U.S. government nutrition guidelines, there is no omega-3 requirement.
Directory of my omega-3 posts.