The dangers of drinking alcohol may go beyond the initial period of intoxication. The National Institute of Health writes that studies have suggested that excessive and prolonged use of alcohol may lead to structural and functional damage to the brain which is permanent in nature. Science Daily reported on Sept. 8, 2013, "Fish Oil Could Help Protect Alcohol Abusers from Dementia."
Research at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine suggests that omega-3 fish oil might help prevent alcohol related dementia. It has been found in previous studies that long-term alcohol abuse increases the risk of dementia. This new Loyola study found that in the brain cells of rats which were exposed to high levels of alcohol, a fish oil compound protected against inflammation and cell death.
However, an earlier analysis by Collins and Loyola colleague Edward J. Neafsey, PhD, found that moderate social drinking may lower the risk of dementia and cognitive impairment. Apparently small amounts of alcohol might, in effect, make brain cells healthier. It has been found that moderate amounts of alcohol causes cells to be stressed and toughened up to better cope with stresses that could cause dementia. However, too much alcohol overwhelms the cells, which leads to inflammation and cell death.
More studies are necessary to confirm whether fish oil can protect against alcohol-related dementia. Collins has said, "Fish oil has the potential of helping preserve brain integrity in abusers. At the very least, it wouldn't hurt them." However, Collins has highlighted that the best way for an alcohol abuser to protect the brain is to quit drinking or at least to cut back to moderate drinking. It is not considered a good idea to think you can safely abuse alcohol as long as you take a few fish oil capsules daily.