Observational studies have linked lower omega 3 rates and higher omega 6 rates with inflammation and depression, but randomised, controlled data have until now been mixed. The Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State University College of Medicine in the US monitored proinflammatory cyotkine production and depressive and anxiety symptoms in 68 medical students who were given either omega 3 or placebo capsules for 12 weeks. They also tested blood samples serially, on low stress days and just before exams.
The students who received the omega 3s showed a decrease in inflammation and anxiety symptoms compared to the controls. There was no significant change in depressive symptoms. The results suggest that omega 3s can reduce inflammation and anxiety even in healthy young adults.
First Published July 2011
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