Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Benefits of Fish Oil For Depression and Anxiety

Omega 3 fatty acids found in oil from fish can help with a variety of health issues relating to depression and anxiety. This is because the Omega fish oil can act as a mood stabilizer. How can this be?

More than half of the human brain's dry weight comes from different types of fat. One type of fat found in the human brain is Omega 3 fatty acid. These fatty acids play a key role in forming cell membranes. They also help to keep the membranes flexible, as well as regulate hormone flow and the flow of chemical messengers. The hormones and chemical messengers could affect your mood.

When your body is deficient in Omega 3 fatty acids, the flow of hormones and chemical messengers can be affected. Could adding Omega fish oil into your daily diet bring your mood back into balance? Studies are still being done to prove this theory; however, the studies are looking very promising.

What do the Researchers say about Depression?

There have been some positive results in smaller clinical trials where Omega 3s were being tested on depression. These studies did show significant anti-depressant effects; however, there needs to be much larger studies done to truly prove that these supplements can help.

What do Researchers say about Bipolar Disorder?

Research has also been done on Omega fish oil and bipolar disorder. There are some promising results for people suffering from this disorder. In one particular double-blind placebo-controlled study, one set of people were taking a placebo of olive oil and the other set of people were taking 10 grams of fish oil.

In the fish oil group, a remarkable 11 out of 14 reported less symptoms of depression. Only two of the 14 had manic episodes. In the other group, only 3 out of 16 people reported they felt better and nine out of 16 had major attacks.

Since further studies need to be conducted on a larger scale, researchers do feel the studies that have been conducted are going in a positive direction; however, they will not recommend that you completely replace other forms of medications with oil from fish. But, they are saying that it could be taken in conjunction with traditional mood-stabilizing medications. Remember, it is imperative that you do not change your medication or add Omega fish oil unless you talk with your doctor.

Why not just Eat Fish?

Fish can be contaminated with mercury. Eating too much fish can be unhealthy because of this mercury. In order to eat enough fish to actually stabilize your moods, you would have to eat six to 32 cans of tuna per day. This is not only unappealing to your stomach, but can contaminate your body with small amounts of heavy metals. Instead, simply add in Omega fish oil supplements to your diet.

Not all Fish Oil Supplements are Created Equal

Many store brand supplements contain high levels of mercury. It is important to know where the fish in your fish oil comes from. The best sources for fish oil include: salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies, and other cold-water fish. Stay away from cod liver oil or other oil that is made from fish liver. This could increase the risk of vitamin A or D toxicity.

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