Omega-3 fatty acids might help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety

 
 
 

Omega-3 fatty acids might help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety
Although anxiety is normal in some situations, it also may be a problem if it becomes a constant fear or worry that interferes with daily life activities. Anxiety disorders derive from inappropriate or exaggerated fear leading to distress or impairment and are associated with lower quality of life. One in three people will experience some kind of anxiety disorder in their life. Therapeutic options include psychological and pharmacological treatments, but people with anxiety are often concerned about the potential adverse effects of pharmacological treatments and may be reluctant to engage in long-term psychological treatments.

There are some findings that link anxiety and omega-3 fatty acids: persons diagnosed for anxiety disorders have lower omega-3 fatty acids levels in their blood and brains than healthy people matching for age and sex; EPA and DHA concentrations are decreased in the membrane of erythrocytes and in the plasma of people with social anxiety disorders; and, in some studies, the severity of the anxious symptoms is negatively correlated with the concentration of the total omega-3 fatty acids levels in the blood.

Omega-3 fatty acids have potential preventive and therapeutic effects on anxiety and depression, and several studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids might reduce anxiety even under serious stressful situations. It is suggested that omega-3 fatty acids interfere with and possibly control several neurobiological processes, such as neurotransmitter systems, neuroplasticity, and inflammation, which is thought to be the mechanism underlying anxiety and depression.

Recently, the first systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the anxiolytic effects of omega-3 fatty acids in persons with anxiety symptoms has been published. The main finding of this meta-analysis is that omega-3 fatty acids are associated with significant reduction in anxiety symptoms when the doses is high (at least 2000 mg/d).

Omega-3 fatty acids might help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety.

Bibliography:

Su K-P, Tseng P-T, Lin P-Y, Okubo R, Chen T-Y, Chen Y-W, et al. Association of use of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids with changes in severity of anxiety symptoms. A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Network Open. 2018;1(5):e182327.

Larrieu T, Layé S. Food for mood: Relevance of nutritional omega-3 fatty acids for depression and anxiety. Front Physiol. 2018;9:1047.

 
 

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