Omega 3 is the name that is given to a category of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs). In this group, Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) as well as Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are the most significant.
Omega-3 fats are regarded by nutritionists as “essential” because they cannot be produced from the inside of our bodies. Instead, they have to be consumed as part of the diet, or in certain instances, change into a different form following consumption.
Omega 3 oils are commonly discovered in oils of fish, such as salmon and mackerel. An alternative option involves omega 3 supplements. These supplements help you attain a desired dose and eliminate the unpractical smell of frequently cooking fish.
Omega 3 oils have gained popularity in recent years because of the many benefits they are believed to bring to the body; claims that have been proven repeatedly in controlled clinical studies. Studies have shown that omega 3 fats are beneficial in reducing inflammation within the body. This is because there is a belief that omega 3s may help reduce the risk factors that are associated with cardiovascular disease, and to alleviate discomfort caused by joints that are prone to inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis. They also – and this is particularly relevant to this article – influence the brain’s function.
Table of Contents
Tips from dietetic Studies
The first sign of omega 3’s influence on depression – and anxiety – is derived from several wide-ranging diet research studies.
A study of this kind involved 7903 participants, who were analyzed for two years. In the course of the study, each participant took note of their food intake, and also completed questionnaires that were designed to reveal any depression-related conditions.
During the time of study, There were 335 instances of anxiety encountered by participants. through cross-referencing these cases against omega 3 consumption results were made.
The results revealed that the greater amount of fish participants ate the less chance they had of being afflicted by anxiety. In fact, those who consume more fat-rich fish (equivalent to a mean of 83 grams daily) were 30 percent less likely to suffer from mental illnesses that are negative, such as depression, stress, and anxiety.
Another study tackled the issue in a different manner and compared the levels of omega 3 levels in people who suffer from depression with the levels that of “healthy” participants. A similar pattern was identified in anxious people, with those having less omega 3.
The Impacts on Anxiety that come from Supplementing with Omega 3 Fatty Acids
The best way to assess the effect of omega-3 fats in anxiety levels is easy. Begin by taking an appropriate sample of participants. Offer one-half of participants more omega 3 fats, the other half with placebo. Then, carefully observe whether anxiety levels differ among the two.
A similar study gave the equivalent of 3 grams omega 3 polyunsaturated fat acids to patients with persistent anxiety disorders. Although the number of participants was small, which suggests that the findings must be viewed with care, the results revealed the following “patients who received n-3 PUFAs for 3 months showed a progressive decline in anxiety scores”.
These results were confirmed by a second group of researchers who advised women to participate in a fitness program along with either Omega 3 oils or an placebo pill. Similar to previous research, they observed that although both groups experienced improvements in their anxiety probably due to the exercise component of their treatment, the one who took omega 3 experienced greater improvement. At the end of the day, it was conclusively concluded the following “omega-3 supplementation could have positive effects on anxiety and depression”.
A final study that is worth noting included a group of students who were all anxious about their upcoming examinations. Students were offered 2.5 grams of omega 3 oil every day, or were given a placebo at examination period. Regular blood samples were taken to check the levels of stress hormones. There was an emphasis on the days leading up to exams. It is not a surprise that levels of stress hormones increased significantly in the days leading up to the exam.
How Does Omega 3 Effect Tension?
The evidence to date is pretty convincing. Numerous studies have shown that an insufficient intake of omega 3 is linked to an increased chance of developing anxiety. In addition it has been demonstrated it is “topping up” omega 3 levels within the body, whether via supplementation or increased consumption of oily fish appears to help alleviate anxiety. However, how can omega-3 fatty acids do their work?
Depression-related disorders such as anxiety, for which it is just one instance is not well understood by doctors. Studies are ongoing, but according to the results of numerous studies there are many ways in which these conditions are believed to manifest.
Serotonin is a chemical that occurs naturally in our bodies and serves various reasons. Among them is that it functions as an “neurotransmitter” – helping messages to be transmitted through nerves and through the brain. Additionally, it has an effect on the blood vessel’s diameter and blood vessel size, which is why any imbalance can cause feelings of flushing in sweat, or of muscle shakes. Numerous experts believe that numerous symptoms that fall under the umbrella term “depression” (including anxiety) are triggered, at the very least in part by a deficiency of serotonin levels.
Doctors have discovered that certain drugs ranging from migraine medicines to LSD that can trigger an increase in serotonin levels within the body. This could result in a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, including headaches, agitation and confusion. Serotonin’s effects on the body is so well-known, it has been referred to as “Serotonin Syndrome” within the medical profession. It is evident that serotonin levels within the body can have an enormous influence on many different systems. It is widely believed that omega-3 fats aid in resolving this imbalance.
Every participant gave blood samples on a regular basis throughout the day. They also completed tests to determine their anxiety levels. Likely, cortisol amounts closely mirror physical manifestations of anxiety. However, more interestingly, HPA activity, as determined through the release of cortisol was affected by Omega 3 fats. They found they believed that “an elevated omega 3 intake may reduce distress symptoms”.
The Amount Omega 3 Ought to Be Taken for Anxiety?
In the past several decades, research has used various dosages. The process of determining the best dose of omega 3 oil for anxious sufferers is made more difficult by the fact that different types of fish oil may differ in the amount in EPA as well as DHA.
It is generally accepted that the majority of the studies that have shown positive results used between two to three grams fish oil each day, although some have utilized up to 10 grams with no negative effects. Therefore, it is plausible to consider taking 2-3 capsules of a typical 1000mg omega-3 supplement will likely to prove beneficial. It is recommended to take it every day however, it can be taken in one go or spread throughout the day.
Omega 3 oil has been extensively tested in lab settings and has been proven to be secure and beneficial in anxiety-related disorders. The research is revealing more details about the way DHA along with EPA positively affect the mind and body, and there is evidence that suggests that, in addition to anxiety, it could aid those suffering from stress, depression and even ADHD. Since it is a natural substance, it’s less stressful to boost your intake of oily fish or swallow two capsules every throughout the day than it is to take prescription medication.
However any article about anxiety should be completed without not mentioning the necessity of seeking professional medical advice in the event of any disorder that affects your mood. So, while omega 3 oils should not be considered an alternative to conventional therapies but they may be beneficial additions to less severe cases, if you use them in conjunction with the advice and consent of your physician.