Benefits of Omega 3: Brain health, depression & anxiety

People who eat fatty fish tend to have more grey matter in the brain (that’s the part of the brain that processes information, memories and emotions)1. For those studying the benefits of Omega 3, this should come as no surprise - Omega 3 accounts for 40% of our brains polyunsaturated fatty acids. Since we have to get omega 3 from our diet, research has found that how much omega 3 rich food we eat can have huge implications not only on the physical composition of our brain, but also on our mental wellbeing. 

Age-related mental decline2,3 – Higher omega 3 intake has been linked to decreased age-related mental decline. As we get older, our body gets a little rusty, and it’s the same with our brain. In fact, studies suggest that we reach the peak of our cognitive ability somewhere in our 20s or 30s, after which begins the long downhill descent of our brains processing power.

Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease4,5 – Higher omega 3 intake has been linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease (not its treatment).

Depression & anxiety6,7,8 - Studies have found that people who consume omega 3 regularly are less likely to be depressed and that when people with depression or anxiety start taking omega-3 supplements, their symptoms improve. One study even found omega 3 EPA to be as effective against depression as Prozac, an antidepressant drug.

 

References

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25084680

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19262590

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2683339

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25592004 

5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19523795

6. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165178115003844

7. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924977X03000324

8. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00048670701827275