A team of researchers from Ohio State University set out to determine the science behind more than thirty years of data that suggests a link between psychological stress and immunity. Omega-3 fats including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are known to be critical nutrients required for early development and health maintenance in the human diet. Earlier research suggested that the long-chain fatty compounds might play a role in reducing the level of inflammatory metabolites in the body known to promote inflammation and even reduce depression.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Reduce the Effects of Stress and Anxiety by Twenty Percent
The study authors wanted to test the theory that increased production of inflammatory cytokines in the body was caused by psychological stress and that increased levels of omega-3 fats could be used to mitigate the metabolic process and reduce inflammation. They assembled a group of 68 volunteer medical students known to be under a high degree of stress. The students were divided into six groups and interviewed at six intervals during the study to determine their levels of stress, anxiety or depression. Half the participants were given omega-3 supplements while the other half were given placebo pills.
Study co-author Martha Belury, professor of human nutrition, explained: “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”. Or, it was an equivalent to 1,200 mg EPA/DHA from a fish oil supplement. The results of the psychological surveys demonstrated an important change in anxiety among the students. Those receiving the omega-3 supplements showed a 20 percent reduction in anxiety compared to the placebo group. Blood samples taken from the medical students showed a similar reduction in circulating inflammatory factors.
Inflammation is a natural immune response necessary to protect us and help the body heal. Systemic inflammation from stress and the release of cytokine chemicals in the body are behind many chronic illnesses ranging from arthritis to heart disease to cancer. Ensure proper omega-3 status by including fatty fish in your diet several times each week or by supplementing with an organically distilled fish oil supplement and lower stress, anxiety and whole-body inflammation.
About the author:
John Phillip is a Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of ‘Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan’, a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your Free 48 page copy of ‘Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan’.