Omega-3 protocol for Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion

So how did I get involved in this TBI/EFA research?

I attend a lot of conferences and just happened to have a chance meeting with Dr. Jerry Cott at an herbal medicine conference in Arizona about 8 years ago and we became very good friends. He is considered one of the leading researchers in the world on the use of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids for Depression, Bipolar disease and traumatic brain injury. He was a senior Pharmacologist at the FDA until retiring just this past year and is a well respected researcher in the industry. He had the responsibility of approving the drugs for psychiatric treatment, applications for omega-3 fatty acids as well as herbal medicine research . My background with neurological rehabilitation  and nutrition was a great combination for us to work together to help educate others on these research findings.

Please click the links below to see two compelling CNN documentaries on several miraculous recoveries using this new and unprecedented protocol:

CNN Bobbie Ghassemi and Sango Mine accident

CNN Grant Virgin

The information that I am presenting in this section comes from my experiences with Dr. Cott and the other leading researchers as well as my own experiences of witnessing the remarkable recoveries of persons using this information over the past 8 years. I hope that this is helpful to you or any other family members who are struggling with any cognitive, mood or behavioral difficulties.

I really want to acknowledge Dr. Jerry Cott for his influence in this area, much of it behind the scenes.  I want to give my friend recognition as a MAJOR contributor to these cases and in distributing this information. Thank you Jerry for all that you have done.


Omega-3 for Depression, Bipolar Disorder and ADHD

 Dr. Jerry Cott and Dr. Joseph Hibblen worked together for many years at NIMH researching  and identifying the effects of EFA's on overall brain health and specifically for mental health. They are the pioneers and are among the top researchers in the world in this area. Below are two links to Youtube videos where they provide details on this research for treatment of Psychiatric disorders:

Dr Jerry Cott

•NIMH (chief, psychopharmacology research program)

•FDA (senior pharmacologist, division of psychiatry products)

•Internationally known speaker

YouTube video Dr. Jerry Cott:
Jerry Cott PhD discusses Nutrition and Psychiatric conditions IAOMT 2011 Las Vegas
IAOMT International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology:  Jerry Cott, PhD, speaks about Nutritional and Botanical Interventions for the Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders.

Dr. Joseph Hibbeln

Dr. Hibbeln was one of the first investigators to draw attention to the importance of Omega-3 fatty acids in psychiatric disorders.

•Acting Chief, Section on Nutritional Neurosciences, Laboratory of Membrane Biochemistry and Biophysics, NIAAA, NIH

•The principal investigator of numerous studies at the NIH Clinical Center over the past 20 years.

•Has participated in extensive international collaborative clinical trials of Omega-3 fatty acids for the prevention of suicide, postpartum depression, and violence. 

YouTube video
CAPT Joseph Hibbeln, M.D.: Nutritional Armor-Brain and Behavior

In these two Youtube videos listed above, the use of fish oil to improve the symptoms of Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder and ADHD are reviewed.


Omega-3 Protocol for Brain Injury and Concussion


Week One/Phase 1 – loading dose:

Start with 3 grams of fish oil that is a combined EPA+DHA of the best quality concentrated product:

Soft gels: you need 1000 mg (or 1 gram) EPA+DHA per soft gel 

Liquid: 2500-3000 mg (or 3 grams) EPA+DHA per teaspoon

Take 3 grams THREE TIMES A DAY (total 9 grams/day)

Take for at least 7 days

If the injury is more severe or occurred months/years prior and symptoms are still an issue, consider extending this phase out to one entire month.


Week Two/ Phase 2 – tapering down:

Continue with 3 grams of the combined concentrated EPA/DHA for TWO TIMES A DAY for 7 days (total 6gm/day)


If symptoms are improving, but not yet back to where you and your healthcare provider think you should be strongly consider staying at Phase 1 for a longer period of time until you achieve the results you believe you and your healthcare provider believe you should achieve.


Phase 3 – Maintenance

Take one dose of 3grams of EPA/DHA every day ongoing.


Patients typically notice improvements within the first week, often in the first several days. 

Depending on the individual and the injury, patients have described being able to think more clearly, have more energy throughout the day, decrease headache frequency and/or intensity, and have a greater sense of calm. Individual results may vary.

Flexibility in the protocol: Every individual is different.  This protocol has been developed as a guideline and patients and their healthcare provider may consider adjusting the dosage.  

For example, if the injury is more severe or happened months or years prior, the patient may find they need to be on the higher doses for a longer period of time.

Resources on Brain Health and Healthy Fats

When Brains Collide by Dr. Michael Lewis


Book summary:


•Concussions are not always preventable, but they are treatable

•Outlines the role EFAs play for brain health

•Shares the development of the Omega-3 protocol for TBI and concussions

•Provides specific protocols

•Grassroots approach to research and education 

The Omega Zone by Dr. Barry Sears


Book summary:  

•Discusses the importance of maintaining both insulin balance and an optimal ratio of Omega-6: Omega-s is one of the most important areas to determines overall health 

•High dose fish oil will correct chronic inflammatory conditions like Diabetes, HTN, CAD, DJD, Cancer, MS, Infertility etc.

•Optimal levels allows your brain to work at peak efficiency. has a 2 1/2 hour version which is a nice, concise summary.

Eat Fat, Get Thin by Dr. Mark Hyman


Book summary:

Dr. Mark Hyman is considered to be one of the leading voices in the field of Functional Medicine. He is Chairman of The Functional Medicine Institute and Director of  the Ultra Wellness Center at the Cleveland Clinic.

He has authored many New York Times best selling books on health and nutrition. 

In this book he outlines exactly which fats are pro-flammatory and which are anti-inflammatory along with many recipes. 

Direct to consumer tests


      Direct to consumer tests to measure            Omega-6: Omega 3 ratio 


Omega-3 Index Basic test is $54.95

This includes a collection kit, the envelope and postage to send in your blood spot, and a detailed report of your results. 

Your results will include your Omega-3 Index.

Omega-3 Index Plus test is $79.95

This includes a collection kit, the envelope and postage to send in your blood spot, and a detailed report of your results. 

Your results will include your Omega-3 Index, Trans Fat Index and AA:EPA ratio and Omega-6:Omega-3 ratio.

Omega-3 Index Complete test is $99.95

This includes a collection kit, the envelope and postage to send in your blood spot, and a detailed report of your results. 

Your results will include your Omega-3 Index, Trans Fat Index, full fatty acid profile, AA:EPA ratio and Omega-6:Omega-3 ratio. 

 •$160 : The Holman Kit Omega-3 test

•Omega 3 index



•Total Omega-3

•AA/EPA ratio

•Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio

50 different areas areas rated


An at-home method for obtaining a blood spot sample, which is analyzed by Lipid Technologies using their precision proprietary method for high sensitivity blood-spot omega 3 analysis. 

This test identifies your complete fatty acid profile, specifically focusing on your omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acid levels 

Which ones should I take?



•Most people can get enough DHA and EPA by eating fatty, low-mercury fish at least twice weekly.






•Cod liver oil




•Pastured beef (smaller amounts)

The best fish oil supplement you can buy is the one you will take! There are many good products out there, but do not let expense get in the way. 

Here are a few tips on how to take them:


•Cod liver oil is less viscous than the standard fish oil

•“Fish burp” not an issue with the fresh, refined oils but until your system adjusts to the oil maybe take with food at the beginning of a meal. 

•Some people report good results by freezing their pills

•Can go into a smoothie

•Take them in a form you will take!

Vegans and Vegetarians



Vegans and Vegetarians often rely on high intake of foods like flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, etc. as their Omega-3 sources. Unfortunately these are short-chain fatty acids which our bodies need to convert into the long-chain fatty acids of DHA and EPA in order to be effective. This conversion is very poor with usually no more than 7-10% being converted.


The Omega-6: Omega-3 ratio typical for Vegans tend to be 10:1 to 15:1. (4:1 to 2:1 is the goal)

Other than consuming fish oil or the foods listed in the previous section, it is very hard to achieve the necessary ratio for good health.


•Fish oil versus Krill? Krill oil comes from small crustaceans, not fatty fish, and typically contains little EPA or DHA. 

One possible product to consider:

 Martek Life's DHA Omega-3

  •Algae produced DHA

•It is only DHA