There are several natural ways to cope with stress, such as exercise & meditation. However, a new experiment conducted in medical students suggests that omega-3 supplements may also help ease symptoms.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), Omega-3 is a class of polyunsaturated fats that may benefit the health of the joints, heart, and other systems.
These compounds may also help reduce the body's levels of cytokines, molecules that are produced during times of stress & by inflammation. While inflammation can help the immune system, chronic inflammation & 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 half of the group took placebos. Throughout the duration of the study, the subjects underwent psychological screenings & blood tests to measure levels of cytokines & anxiety.
Results showed that individuals who took omega-3 were 20% less anxious & 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 & certain fish.
16 February 2012