Well, mainstream medicine is right about one thing and that’s if you’re feeling stressed or anxious, popping a pill can help.
But it’s not the kind of pill you might think. And it really doesn’t even have to be in the form of a pill.
It turns out that taking some simple omega-3 rich fish oil could help put a lid on anxiety and the disease-linked inflammation that accompanies it.
Let me explain.
Fish oil drives down inflammation AND anxiety
Research has shown that omega–3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), play a role in reducing inflammation-causing chemicals found in the body called cytokines.
Cytokines are secreted in greater numbers by our cells when we’re stressed, causing our inflammation levels to climb putting us at an increased risk for getting all kinds of nasty diseases. A team of researchers from Ohio State University theorized that fish oil, which is rich in EPA and DHA, might be able to interrupt this process, reducing the number of cytokines and, as a result, the inflammation.
To test their theory, the researchers turned to the most-stressed-out group of people they knew, medical students. Half of the volunteers received omega-3 supplements while the other half received placebo pills.
During the study the students were interviewed individually six times and had their blood drawn on each occasion. During each of the six visits, the students also took psychological tests that were designed to measure their levels of stress, anxiety and depression.
Anxiety levels plummeted 20% with omega-3s!
As they expected, the researchers did indeed find that there was a drop in cytokine levels in the volunteers taking the fish-oil supplements.
In fact, the students’ levels of interlunkin-6… a specific kind of cytokine… dropped by a healthy 14 percent on average.
But, much to the researchers’ surprise, they also found that the anxiety levels in the omega-3-treated students had plummeted by 20 percent compared with the placebo group.
So, in other words, the fish oil not only worked its magic on the inflammation but appears to have literally driven down the stress levels of the anxiety-ridden students. That means, of course, that it could do the same for you and me.
Oh, and don’t forget about omega-3’s ability to deep-six depression as well.
You can start increasing the amount of omega-3 in your diet simply by eating more fish.
Consider fish oil to raise omega-3 levels
However, keep in mind that the amount of omega-3 that the students got in the study would be equal to about four or five times the amount of fish oil that you’d get in a daily serving of salmon.
So, if you’re seriously looking to reduce your anxiety levels, you may want to consider taking a fish-oil supplement as well.
Just be sure to also add in a 400-IU mixed-tocopherol vitamin E supplement to combat free radicals.