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Omega-3s Shown to Reduce Anxiety and Depression

Women fighting anxiety and depression may want to consider turning to omega-3s to reduce their symptoms. According to a recent study, DHA omega-3 intake may be associated with a 50% reduction in anxiety disorders and a 70% reduction in current depressive disorder.

The study examined 935 women between the ages of 20 and 93. Through dietary questionnaires, the researchers determined how much omega-3 and omega-6 the women were consuming. In order to assess psychological states, they administered the General Health Questionnaire-12 and conducted clinical interviews.

They found that women with the lowest levels of DHA omega-3s were significantly more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression compared to those with the highest levels. However, they found no link between these ailments and EPA omega-3s, ALA omega-3s, linoleic acid or arachidonic acid.

The researchers cautioned that this is a preliminary study and more research needs to be conducted to determine the exact nature of the relationship between omega-3s and mental health.

The study was conducted by researchers at Deakin University and The University of Melbourne in Australia. It was published online ahead of print on October 10, 2012, in the British Journal of Nutrition.

In addition to mental health benefits, omega-3s have been shown to alleviate arthritis pain, improve mood, improve joint mobility, help with age related macular degeneration, and bolster the immune system.

Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in DHA and EPA omega-3s, while ALA omega-3 fatty-acids are plant derived and can be found in flaxseed oil, vegetable oil, and walnuts.

If you don’t like fish or you’re worried about the high mercury levels found in some fish, consider taking a daily high quality supplement that has been tested for purity and potency.

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