Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency has been suggested as a factor in numerous disorders. In a study of mice given a diet low in omega-3 fatty acids, researchers revealed that lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids had a negative consequence on emotional behaviors and synaptic functions.
In developing nations, diets have been deficient in essential fatty acids from the start of the 20th century. The ratio between dietary omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids increased consistently throughout the 20th century. These are “essential” fatty acids since the body can’t synthesize them. The fatty acids must therefore be provided by way of food and their dietary balance is important to maintain optimum brain functions.