Fish Oil Supplements May Help Alleviate StressBy Health News Team • Nov 10th, 2011 • Category: Stress, True Health News
There are several natural ways to cope with stress, such as meditation and exercise. However, a new experiment conducted in medical students suggests that omega-3 supplements may also help alleviate symptoms.
Omega-3 is a class of polyunsaturated fats that a growing body of research indicates may benefit the health of the heart, joints and other systems, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).
These compounds may also help reduce the body's levels of cytokines, molecules that are produced by inflammation and during times of stress. While inflammation can help the immune system, chronic inflammation and cytokine production can have negative effects.
Researchers from Ohio State University conducted a study in which they enrolled 68 first or second-year medical students: half received omega-3 supplements, while the other group took placebos. Throughout the duration of the study, the subjects underwent psychological screenings and blood tests to measure levels of anxiety and cytokines.
While the school curriculum was somewhat easier than in previous years, results still showed that individuals who took omega-3 were 20 percent less anxious and produced fewer cytokines than the controls, as published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity.
However, instead of making broad recommendations about omega-3 supplements, the researchers suggest that people simply increase their dietary intake. This type of fat is found in oils from walnuts, flaxseed and certain fish, according to NCCAM.