A new paper points to increased levels of the EPA Omega 3 essential fatty acid being associated with reductions in the severity of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.
A secondary analysis of data generated from a placebo-controlled trial was done. Participants were assigned to randomly receive either an Omega-3 supplement containing 1,470 mg of DHA and 147 mg of EPA or a placebo daily. The study lasted 12 weeks. For the participants in the Omega-3 supplement group the severity of their PTSD symptoms were related to their levels of EPA+DHA, EPA only and the ratio of EPA to AA (Arachidonic Acid, an Omega 6 essential fatty acid). Higher levels of EPA+DHA, EPA only and EPA to AA were associated with decreases in the severity of PTSD symptoms.
Researchers theorize that EPA’s anti-inflammatory properties may explain the results of this most current review. Additionally they believe that EPA supplements may have a benefit in preventing depression and PTSD.
The military began showing interest in Omega-3 back in 2014 when they focused on the fatty acids as “nutritional armor” in their November issue of Military Medicine. They looked at Omega-3 and its ability to improve mood, reduce suicide rate of both ex-military and active military, speed up recovery of individuals suffering from traumatic brain injury and improving reaction times of fighter pilots.
More studies are needed.
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