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Omega-3s Reduce Anxiety, Inflammation

Fish oil from salmon and other cold-water species is a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids, and according to a new study, can help reduce both inflammation and anxiety. A research team from Ohio State University reported that daily doses of omega-3 supplements, providing about four to five times the amount of fish oil found in a daily serving of salmon, reduced anxiety among a group of medical students. The original aim of the study was to determine whether omega-3s would bring about a reduction in stress levels, but due to a change in the medical school curriculum, the 68 students participating weren't as stressed out during their exam period as had been expected. Earlier studies by the same investigators had shown that stress related to exams lowered students' immune status. In the new study, the team found that the 34 students who received the omega-3s were 20 percent less anxious than were the 34 who were given a placebo. The investigators also saw a 14 percent reduction in inflammation-promoting compounds called cytokines in the students who took omega-3s. Inflammation can foster diseases ranging from arthritis to cancer and heart disease. The researchers noted that if taking omega-3s brings about positive changes in young med school students, seniors and people at high risk for certain diseases might benefit even more. The study was published online on July 19, 2011 by the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity.

My take? We've known for some time that omega-3s help tone down inflammation, and may help reduce the risk and symptoms of a number of disorders influenced by inflammation. We also know that people with memory loss, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), may benefit from omega-3s, so it makes sense that these fats would also help reduce anxiety. To get adequate omega-3s, I recommend eating oily fleshed, wild-caught, cold water fish two to three times per week. If you use fish oil capsules, take two grams daily of a brand that contains both EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

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Reader Comments (5)

I'm a huge advocate of the benefits of Omega - 3. This makes sense because they benefit the thyroid and hormones in the body as well as the brain. When these things are not working in good harmony unwarranted anxiety can often be a symptom. Also if your memory is working better you'll feel more at ease with the test.

September 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Jane Finnell

Omega 3 fatty acids have cardiovascular and anti cancer health benefits too.

September 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHealth Blog

It's really important to make sure you are getting qaulity supplements. Don't just look at the mg of the gel cap itslef, look at the percentage of EPA and DHA. Often you aren't getting what you think you're getting. Always read your labels when it comes to supplements.

September 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNatural Health Solutions

Do you have dietary guidelines for pregnant women around the age of 27? Will the omega 3 help?

October 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

When you have an anxiety attack, you may experience a shortness of breath. You may begin to sweat. You may feel numb, or you may have a sense of extreme panic. You may develop a rapid heart rate and find that you cannot breathe well. If you have an anxiety attack, it is important to get it under control. You can do so by practicing breathing exercises or taking medications.
Acupuncture Treatment

October 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAcupuncture Treatment
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