Numerous studies show that that supplementing your diet with Omega 3 fatty acids can help with feelings of anxiety and depression, and do much for the health of the brain and nervous system.
Scientists believe the reason has to do with neuro inflammation.
New research shows that there is a close relationship between chronic internal inflammation and feelings of anxiety and depression. This type of inflammation is often undetected because it falls below the radar of pain and visible swelling.
In the brain, such inflammation affects the signaling between brain cells, which is why it can be so disruptive. For a more in-depth description of the cause of this inflammation, click here.
Two omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in the brain. One is EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), the other is DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
DHA is mainly a structural component for brain cells. EPA, on the other hand, is the anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acid for the brain. To keep neuro inflammation under control, you need a continual supply of EPA because the life cycle of this essential fatty acid is comparatively low.
DHA is also anti-inflammatory, but medical studies show that its primary benefit is that can improve cognitive function, such as memory.
Researchers have observed that people who have high intakes of DHA feel less anxious and depressed. DHA is also neuro-protective—it helps protect brain cells by suppressing a toxic substance called amyloid-beta.
The key to Omega 3 supplementation when tapering of psychotropic medication is first to use a product that is high in EPA. Then add DHA as needed to boost the effects and further improve cognitive function.
SELECTING THE RIGHT OMEGA 3: There are two forms of Omega 3 oils: EE and TG. The vast majority of the clinical studies on Omega 3 oil (including the National Eye Institute’s AREDS 2 trial now in progress) have used the EE form. Both oils are safe, but there is some difference in their effects. The EE form is more concentrated. It will give you more Omega 3. Because the uptake is more sustained, it takes slightly longer for the body to metabolize EE. But the effects last longer. The body can utilize the TG form more quickly. If you are looking for a rapid effect, you may want to use this type. This is why we have both so you can choose which you want for your tapering program.
THE OMEGA 3 CONTROVERSY: Some marketers use a “styrofoam cup” parlor trick to try to scare consumers into using one form of Omega 3 over another. Click here to see a review of the actual science behind this.
TOXIN-FREE: Some fish are more likely to have higher levels of heavy metals or pesticides. These include mackerel, wild swordfish, tilefish, and shark. Smaller fish such as sardines or anchovies are safer. The Omega 3 oils that we use come from these smaller fish, and the oils are analyzed for toxins (certificates of analysis are available on request).
CAUTION: One of the benefits from Omega 3 supplements is that they can make the blood thinner. This can cause excess bleeding, particularly in people taking anticoagulant drugs. Anyone with a bleeding condition should consult with a doctor before taking an Omega 3 supplement.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND NEURO INFLAMMATION:
Many scientists now believe cause of inflammation of brain cells is an increase in a fatty acid known as arachidonic acid. From this fatty acid, the body produces inflammatory hormones called eicosanoids. The result is neuro-inflammation and a disruption of signalling between nerve cells. COX-2 inhibiting drugs such as aspirin work against inflammation in other parts of the body because they inhibit the formation of these eicosanoids. However, these drugs cannot cross the blood brain barrier. This is a self-protecting mechanism of the brain to ensure that toxins in the blood stream do not enter brain cells. For inflamed brain cells, nourishing the body with Omega 3, specifically EPA and DHA, is a natural solution. Research has shown that cultures that eat foods with high levels of Omega 3 oils have lower levels of depression. Studies in children have shown that adding Omega 3 fish oil to their diets can improve cognitive function feelings of anxiety or aggression. New research show that supplementing the diet with Omega 3 oils may help slow the decline in cognitive function and gradual memory loss. Fish oil also seems to boost the effects of antidepressants, which makes it indispensable for tapering off the drug.
THE EE VS. TG CONTROVERSY: The claim that the TG (triglyceride) form of Omega 3 is more beneficial than the EE (ethyl ester) form is not supported by scientific research. The vast majority of the clinical studies on Omega 3 oil (including the National Eye Institute’s AREDS 2 trial now in progress) have used the EE form. The only prescription Omega 3 approved by the FDA is in the EE form. Claims that EE causes free radicals in the blood even at high doses of administration has been disproven by actual clinical research. The “styrofoam cup” parlor trick that has been circulating on the Internet is a marketing gimmick—a scare tactic to turn consumers away from the EE form. The reason EE can dissolve styrofoam has to do with a chemical property called polarity. This is the “difference in electrical charge between opposite ends of a molecule”. One compound can dissolve another if their polarities are very similar. The observation that the EE Omega 3 can dissolve Styrofoam only reflects the fact that the polarity of EE is similar to polystyrene. It does not mean that the EE form is unsafe. The polystyrene in styrofoam has, of course, no resemblance to the human gut and EE does not behave like this in the stomach. Both EE and TG are safe and beneficial dietary supplements. However, there appears to be a difference in the absorption rate between the two forms. While EE is more concentrated than TG and provides more Omega 3 per capsule, the body metabolizes it more slowly. But EE also lasts longer in the body. The reason the TG form acts more rapidly is because the hydrolysis in the body of EE takes more time than the action of the pancreatic enzyme lipase on TG.