Yesterday, an article was posted in Medical News Today titled Omega-3 Reduces Anxiety and Inflammation In Healthy Students about research from Ohio State University. Healthy students who took Omega-3 fish oil showed a dramatic reduction in inflammation and their reported anxiety.
The article then goes on to explain that, “Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have long been considered as positive additives to the diet. Earlier research suggested that the compounds might play a role in reducing the level of cytokines in the body, compounds that promote inflammation, and perhaps even reduce depression.”
In the study, each student was given up to 5x the amount of fish oil the average person would get from one serving of salmon a day. Our body uses inflammation as a response when we receive an injury to our body or an illness. However, when our body inflames too much, it can increase the chances of many diseases from arthritis to cancer. The researchers from Ohio State University recommended trying to increase Omega-3 fatty acids naturally through diet, as opposed to taking supplements.
Just to show how needed this is in our diet… many studies have now found that when taking a high enough dose (see more info below), omega-3 supplementation is equally as effective as taking an antidepressant medication. It’s even better when you can obtain the omega-3 through your diet instead of taking supplements.
Things to know before starting to add Omega-3 to your diet…
There are three types of Omega-3, but the ones you need to look for are EPA and DHA. If you’re taking a supplement, the amount of each should be broken down on the back. Research has shown, that for an antidepressant dose, it’s recommended that you take 1,000mg of EPA and DHA combined. Keep in mind, this is not the total weight of the capsule. Most capsules do not contain a full dosage in one capsule. In fact, despite the fact the capsule weighs 1,000mg, if you purchase the average pharmacy brand of Omega-3, you may need to take up to seven capsules just to receive one day of an antidepressant dose. So it’s important to make sure you’re purchasing a high quality product from the pharmacy or health food shop you go to. It is also important to note that if you are on blood thinning medication, your dosage is different.
This information is not meant to replace medical advice. You should speak to your doctor or GP before starting an Omega-3 regimen.
Nicole Paulie is a Counselling Psychologist, and co-author of “How to be Happy and Healthy – The seven natural elements of mental health.” She provides therapy in the Dublin city area. Contact us to learn more or to book an appointment.