Holistic Naturopath Improves Anxiety With Fish Oil

I been using high grade fish oil to help people with anxiety for many years. Below is just another study (of the hundreds) of what properly dosed high quality fish oil can do  for inflammation and anxiety. For more information about my anxiety relief services click here or call 201.618.3534.

Omega-3 Reduces Anxiety and Inflammation in Healthy Students, Study Suggests

According to a new study, just published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, of the effects of increased intake of fish oil, these substances, even in the form of supplements, reduced both inflammation and anxiety in the participating subjects.

The study’s participants were all healthy young people; however, the results suggest that those with certain health challenges, including the elderly, might receive even more benefits from such supplements.

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are known to reduce inflammation by helping to reduce the level of cytokines in the body; they are also thought to reduce depression.  Stress increases cytokines; scientists have been investigating whether or not reducing cytokines will reduce stress.

A team of researchers at Ohio State University designed a study using medical students. First, they discovered that the students’ test-related stress lowered their immune status.

Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychology and psychiatry, said, “We hypothesized that giving some students omega-3 supplements would decrease their production of proinflammatory cytokines, compared to other students who only received a placebo. We thought the omega-3 would reduce the stress-induced increase in cytokines that normally arose from nervousness over the tests.”

68 first- and second-year medical students volunteered for the clinical trial. They were split into six groups, and eventually each subject was interviewed six times. Each interview included psychological testing, questionnaires about diet, and the securing of blood samples for further testing. One-half of the students received omega-3 supplements while the other half were given placebo pills.

Martha Belury, professor of human nutrition and co-author in the study, described the dosage:  “The supplement was probably about four or five times the amount of fish oil you’d get from a daily serving of salmon, for example,”

To the investigators’ surprise, however, the university had altered the curriculum and testing schedule, so that the students were no longer subject to the same tensions as they had been during previous studies.

According to Kiecolt-Glaser, “These students were not anxious. They weren’t really stressed. They were actually sleeping well throughout this period, so we didn’t get the stress effect we had expected.”

However, the psychological surveys displayed a clear change in anxiety among the students. The students who took the omega-3 experienced 20 percent less anxiety than those receiving the placebo.

The blood tests showed comparable results.

Ron Glaser, professor of molecular virology, immunology & medical genetics and director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, explained, “We took measurements of the cytokines in the blood serum, as well as measured the productivity of cells that produced two important cytokines, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFa). We saw a 14 percent reduction in the amounts of IL-6 among the students receiving the omega-3.” The cytokines are known to promote inflammation, so “anything we can do to reduce cytokines is a big plus in dealing with the overall health of people at risk for many diseases.”

Inflammation is now considered a detrimental influence in the development of many diseases, including heart disease and cancer.

Nonetheless, the scientist are not ready to suggest that the public at large start taking supplements – although some of them admit that they themselves take them.

Belury said, “It may be too early to recommend a broad use of omega-3 supplements throughout the public, especially considering the cost and the limited supplies of fish needed to supply the oil. People should just consider increasing their omega-3 through their diet.”

Also taking part in the research with Kiecolt-Glaser, Glaser and Belury were William Malarkey, professor emeritus of internal medicine, and Rebecca Andridge, an assistant professor of public health.

The study was supported in part by a grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a part of the National Institutes of Health.

Ohio State University (2011, July 13). Omega-3 reduces anxiety and inflammation in healthy students, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 18, 2011, from sciencedaily.


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