Fish Oil Reduces Anxiety and Inflammation!

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Fish Oil Cuts Inflammation, Anxiety

Daily Update – July 15, 2011

Sources: Ohio State University: Omega-3 Reduces Anxiety and Inflammation in Healthy Students

COLUMBUS, Ohio–Consuming fish oil supplements reduced inflammation and anxiety in medical students studying at the Ohio State University. The supplements used in the study were about four or five times the amount of fish oil found in daily serving of salmon, leading credibility to using supplements to get effective doses of omega-3s in the diet rather than relying on fish dinners.

Study participants included 68 first- and second-year medical students who volunteered for the clinical trial. The students were randomly divided into six groups, all of which were interviewed six times during the study. At each visit, blood samples were drawn from the students who also completed a battery of psychological surveys intended to gauge their levels of stress, anxiety or depression. The students also completed questionnaires about their diets during the previous weeks. Half the students received omega-3 supplements while the other half were given placebo pills

Psychological surveys showed students receiving the omega-3 experienced a 20-percent reduction in anxiety compared to the placebo group. An analysis of the of the blood samples from the medical students showed a 14-percent reduction in the amount of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) in the blood serum among the students receiving the omega-3.

“Anything we can do to reduce cytokines is a big plus in dealing with the overall health of people at risk for many diseases,” said Ron Glaser, study co-author and professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics and director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research. While inflammation is a natural immune response that helps the body heal, it also can play a harmful role in a host of diseases ranging from arthritis to heart disease to cancer.

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.

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