Omega 3 supplements for depression and anxiety?

The Autoimmune Disease Series



In this blog I am going to show you just how crucial omega 3 fatty acids are for your brain and nervous system.  This will be especially important if some of the symptoms of your autoimmune disease include anxiety or depression.

  • Fats make up around 60% of your brain and the nerves that send out messages to your entire body, signalling to every system within it.
  • Of these fats the Omega 3’s play a paramount role, offering profound anti-aging effects on the structure and function of the brain, from cognition and memory to mental health and the prevention of Alzheimer’s.
  • Omega 3’s have recently been associated with increased volume of the brain’s grey matter, particularly in those parts of the brain associated with happiness, and they boost intelligence by enhancing brain function from birth onwards.
  • These fatty acids support the structure of  brain cells, which in turn contributes to the increase in the production of critical neurotransmitters, and reduce oxidative and inflammatory damage.
  • Ranges of 1,000-3,000 mg of EPA and 1,000-1,500 mg of DHA have been found to bring about significant improvements in symptoms of depression, aggression, and other mental disorders, in addition as providing protection against early cognitive decline and even early Alzheimer’s disease.

Healthy brain cells are composed of both omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, they help to form the cell membrane and they also form the building blocks of the transport system of your cells.  This vitally allows us to keep fluids in the right place.

Your mood, energy and your ability to think clearly can all be affected by even mild dehydration.  When your body is dehydrated your blood does not flow so freely, hormones don’t reach their destination, muscles may constrict making you feel tense and your brain will sense the water loss.  For some people the muscle weakness, headaches, low blood pressure, lightheadedness and increased heart rate may trigger panic attacks.

The point here is that fatty acids help you to keep your body fluid in the right place – helping you to stay hydrated.

People living in arid countries also have ways to maintain hydration within their culture.  For example, in Morocco the women working in the fields don’t take a lot of water with them; instead they take freshly pressed argon oil.  We see here how certain cultures have retained the knowledge that a very important ingredient for maintaining hydration is oil containing fatty acids.

Barbara Wren – Cellular Awakening

Eating the wrong kinds of fats can cause the brain cells to be compromised as the body struggles to make up the cell membrane from inappropriate fats, contributing to poor brain function.

If we understand anxiety and depression to be largely issues of the brain and mind, then supporting the regeneration of brain cells, may play a pivotal role in alleviating symptoms.

Clinical trials have implied benefits of supplemental omega 3 fatty acids on brain function and mood:

People who get more omega-3s actually have bigger, more functional brains.

In fact, the serotonin-related benefits of omega-3 supplementation are powerful enough to stand up to a head-to-head comparison with fluoxetine (Prozac®), a common and highly effective member of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) category of modern antidepressants.32 In that study, 50% of subjects responded well to fluoxetine alone, 56% to EPA supplementation (1,000 mg), and an impressive 81% in people who took both forms of treatment.32

 Ensuring therapeutic doses of Omega 3’s may help to lower some of your auto immune symptoms.  In this article I have focused on what omega 3’s can do for your brain, mood and anxiety symptoms.  Do not forget that this amazing fatty acid will also help you to lower inflammation in your body.

Take supplements, eat freshly ground flax seed every day – boost your levels, enhance your mood.

Wishing you every  happiness

Gemma x

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