Omega-3 found in Fish Oil could help Young Adults relieve Anxiety and Inflammation

Fish - Credit: National Cancer Institute/photographer Renee Comet PD

(Best Syndication News) A recent study found taking fish oil supplements reduced inflammation and anxiety in healthy young adults. The researchers from Ohio State University published their study results in the journal Brain.

The study involved 68 medical students in their first or second year at the University. They divided the participants into six groups. Half of the participants were given an omega-3 fish oil supplement that was around 4 -5 times more fatty acids than eating one serving of salmon. The other half received a placebo pill.

The researchers had the participants check in at six assessments. The participants got blood samples taken each time and took psychological surveys to assess for stress, anxiety, and depression. The participants also completed a questionnaire each time telling what they ate during the last few weeks.

A previous study by the researchers showed that medical school tests reduced hurt the immune system of students due to the stress. Based on this idea and other research of the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, they thought that the proinflammatory cytokines would be reduced when taking a fish oil supplement. These cytokines are usually higher when a person is stressed.


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The study did not go quite as planned. They had anticipated a heavy testing period that had happened in the past. The medical school had changed their major testing to be spread throughout the year. However, even when the testing period did not occur, the researchers did find that there was a benefit to talking fish oil supplements to reduce stress.

The participants that took the omega-3 fish oil supplements had a 20 percent anxiety reduction based on the psychological surveys compared to the group that was the taking a placebo. The blood samples showed similar results.

Ron Glaser, professor of molecular virology, immunology & medical genetics and director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, explained that the blood samples showed 14 percent reduction in interleukin-6 (IL-6) in those taking the omega-3 fish oil supplements. IL-6 is one of the two cytokines that the researchers measured, they also measured tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFa).

The researchers are not recommending everyone to take fish oil supplements for daily consumption. The reasons are cost and availability. Instead, that people should consider eating fish to get additional omega-3 in their diets. Some of the researchers admitted that they take fish oil supplements themselves.

By: Marsha Quinn



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