Omega-3 Deficient Teenagers May Become Anxious Adults

Omega 3 AnxietyA new study using mice has found low Omega-3 in adolescent mice may lead to behavioral problems in adulthood.

Using a mouse model which mimicked a dietary deficiency of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids during childhood and adolescence, researchers found significant increases in anxiety and anhedonia (the inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable).  The increases in these conditions can lead to decreases in specific cognitive functions during adulthood.  Researchers found switching the diet of the mice to one lacking Omega-3’s during adolescence led to lower Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acid (PUFA) levels in various areas of the brain during the adulthood of the mice.  These lower Omega-3 levels in these affected areas of the brain impacts a signaling mechanism known as mGlu5-endocannabinoid.  This signaling mechanism results in the changes seen in cognitive and emotional functions.

Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acid deficiency is widely believed to be a major risk factor associated with conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.  Current research has shown the importance of high Omega-3 status during important development periods like perinatal and adolescent life stages.



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