Vicki Martin, Nutritionist and Naturopath
Naturopath Vicki Martin describes a study that concluded that people with higher Omega 3 levels are likely to have a better mood.
People who have higher blood levels of Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are more likely to report a positive mood. This conclusion came from a study funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. It was reported at the 64th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society held in Denver on March 6, 2006.
Omega 3 fatty acids are abundant in fish and fish oils, as well as flaxseeds, walnuts and other plant foods. Research has continued to reveal an range of benefits associated with their intake, although most of the studies have focused on their cardiovascular effects.
Sarah Conklin, PhD and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine measured the effects of Omega 3 fatty acids on mood. They recruited 106 healthy participants, without asking them to change their diets. They then administered separate tests for depression, personality and impulsiveness to all participants.
The researchers found that subjects with low Omega 3 levels reported more mild to moderate symptoms of depression, a more negative outlook, and greater impulsivity. People whose levels of the fatty acids were higher seemed to be more agreeable.
Dr Conklin, who is a postdoctoral scholar with the Cardiovascular Behavioural Medicine Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine's department of psychiatry, commented, "Several previous studies linked low levels of Omega 3 to clinically significant conditions... However, few studies have shown that these relationships also occur in healthy adults. This study opens the door for future research looking at what effect increasing Omega 3 intake, whether by eating Omega 3 rich foods like salmon, or taking fish oil supplements, has on people's mood."
Source: Life Extension Foundation, 8 March 2006
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