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Should I be taking supplements like fish oil, curcumin, etc. during the recovery process?

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Division Director PM&R

Answer transcribed from Brightway's interview with Dr. Thomas Franz:

The research on that is limited.

We do know that one of the things that happens with brain injury is that, like a lot of conditions, an inflammatory cascade is set up. So many of those supplements, whether it's fish oils or curcumin, have some anti-inflammatory properties. I would put most of those in the category of "can't hurt, may well be beneficial".

As long as you're not being ripped off by somebody selling you their brand of supplement for fifty dollars a capsule, I think it can be a very useful thing, but just understand you're kind of out there on the edges of what scientific research is aware of. I don't see any problem with doing that, as long as you're aware that you're not going to get a double-blind controlled study with a million patients that say that this is the combination to use.

I would also say that things that tend to be hawked on TV, whether that's jellyfish extracts or things like that, that there's no clear evidence of what benefit you receive for the money you put into them. I think those are very questionable.