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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Probiotics Have A “Positive Effect” on Stress and Anxiety

stress anxietyAccording to a new meta-analysis and systematic review consumption of probiotics may have a positive effect on mental health by reducing the psychological symptoms of perceived stress, anxiety and depression.

The study reviewed the outcomes of seven previous studies with over 300 volunteers both prior to and post supplementation with a probiotic supplement.  The studies published before July, 2016 were randomized and placebo controlled.  The meta-analysis showed statistically significant improvements in the psychological symptoms of perceived stress when compared with a placebo.

A newfound interest in the gut-brain axis and new evidence showing intestinal microbiota’s ability to influence the central nervous system’s function have lead to the conclusion that probiotics may have a positive effect on mood and psychological symptoms like anxiety and depression.

Further studies to determine the benefit of probiotic supplementation and symptoms of diagnosed clinical depression are needed.

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Curcumin Supplementation Shows Benefits For People With Severe Depression

Curcumin and DepressionA new study has found that daily supplementation with Curcumin may be effective in reducing anxiety and depressive symptoms in people with major depressive disorders.

Over 100 people participated in this randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study.  All the participants had major depressive disorder.  Participants were given one of four treatment conditions: A placebo, a low-dose Curcumin Extract (250 MG), a high dose Curcumin Extract (500 MG), or a combined saffron (15 MG) plus low-dose Curcumin Extract (250 MG).  The study lasted 12 weeks.  The Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology self-rated version (IDS-SR30) and the Speilberger State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) were used to measure results.

Participants supplementing with any form of the Curcumin Extract saw considerable improvements when compared to the placebo group.  No differences were seen between the different doses of Curcumin Extract or the combination of the Curcumin/Saffron.

Researchers believe that larger studies are needed.  They also believe the treatment duration needs to be longer.

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