Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Can They Help Reduce Feelings of Anxiety and Depression?
Omega-3 is an essential component of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays multiple roles in the body including modulating cognition, reward, learning, and memory, as well as numerous other physiological processes. Serotonin also a has a key role in stabilizing our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness.
Research suggests that individuals who consume omega-3s daily have a lower risk of developing a mood disorder, such as anxiety and depression. Moreover, individuals with a current mood disorder who start supplementing with omega-3s can potentially see an improvement in their symptoms.
In this article you can find:
- What are omega-3 fatty acids?
- How might omega-3 fatty acids improve mental health?
- What dose of omega-3 fatty acids is beneficial?
- Are there any side effects to taking omega-3 fatty acids?
What are omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA). Unsaturated fatty acids are considered as “good” fats, as they can play a number of favourable roles within the body such as increase levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol), reduce inflammation, and regulate heart rhythms.
The three most important types of omega-3 fatty acids are ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapenataenoic acid), and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
ALA is found in plant foods such as flaxseeds, rapeseeds, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, perilla seeds, and walnuts. EPA and DHA are found in oily fish, such as salmon, fresh tuna, mackerel, and herring.
The body must convert ALA into either DHA or EPA in order to use for anything other than energy. Unfortunately, this conversion process is inefficient in humans, as only 1–10% of ALA is converted into EPA and 0.5–5% into DHA.
How might omega-3 fatty acids improve mental health?
EPA and DHA are essential for normal brain function and development. They are abundant in the cell membranes of brain cells, helping to maintain cell membrane health and allowing brain cells to communicate with one another.
Recent research has shown that supplementing with fish oils which contains the fatty acids EPA and DHA, may alleviate depressive symptoms in individuals who have depression, particularly in the supplements that high levels of EPA. This is believed to be primarily due to their effects on serotonin and serotonin receptors in the brain.
What dose of omega-3 fatty acids is beneficial?
Studies have shown that supplementing that consuming 1000-2000mg of omega-3 fatty acids daily can help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
Sona Omergan provides 1200mg of pure omega fatty acids per capsule, including DHA, EPA, and ALA, as well as Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA), Linoleic Acid (LA), and Oleic Acids.
Are there any side effects to taking omega-3 fatty acids?
Fish oil supplements are generally deemed safe. However, it is important to mention to your doctor that you are supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids if you are on any medications. It is particularly important to do this is you are on any blood-thinning medication or have an upcoming surgery due to their potential impact on the blood clotting process.
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