In 2009, I was in the Army (as a soldier medic), looking for a solution to build resilience in soldiers and their family members. Our team was looking for solutions to reduce negative outcomes and performance when going through stressful situations. At the time, soldiers were going through multiple middle east deployments and as a result, were suffering from PTSD, martial problems, substance abuse, and other negative life events.
At a NIH conference, we were discussing the complete lack of "Nutritional Armor". Essential Fatty Acids offered the resilience we were looking for. So, we set off to do the first ever combat study with exploring this under combat in Iraq.
A few findings are worth pointing out here:
- We were overwhelmed with interest in the study because of brain function component. The soldiers wanted to understand how their brains changed under stress and this proved a valuable anecdotal piece of information since it would later drive compliance as well.
- A very strong association between executive function (particularly cognitive flexibility, memory and processing speed) and the levels of essential fatty acids was clearly apparent.
- Later we would find also that when you fix or address the imbalance, the individual feels better within 2-3 weeks and the brain function improves over the next 3-6 months some 25-35% in major domains of function.
After trying to fix this problem from within the Army, I retired on a mission to bring the research and methods to the public.
I would personally like to thank you for exploring this critical area of patient testing and education that directly addresses a widespread nutritional crisis in 95% of our patients.