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shutterstock_794853430 copyTodd A. Born is a naturopathic physician, certified nutrition specialist (CNS), and co-owner and medical director of Born Integrative Medicine Specialists, PLLC. His roles at Allergy Research Group include Product Manager, Head of New Product Development, Scientific Advisor, and Editor-in-Chief of their science-based FOCUS Newsletter. Dr. Born is also Lead Advisor and President of the International Society for Naturopathic Medicine, as well as a medical wellness advisor for the International Medical Wellness Association.

A review of the evidence behind botanicals and nutraceuticals for the treatment of mood disorders

Anxiety and Fish Oil

Monday, 25 July 2011 by

The use of fish oils to mediate anxiety in a selected group of intelligent and healthy young people has suggested a positive correlation. The implications are that other groups, especially the elderly and individuals with complex disorders may also benefit. For over thirty years the relationships between stress and immune function have been explored and this is one of the latest papers published in the leading cross discipline journal Brain Behaviour and immunity.[1]

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Most Nutritional Therapists are comfortable in the concept and application of concentrated essential fatty acids especially fish oils as a means of altering abnormal inflammatory pathways in the body. Some EFA’s are perceived to be anti-inflammatory and others pro-inflammatory. Whilst the simplistic dichotomy of interpretation (Omega 3 Anti/Omega 6 Pro) has kept many a student content that they have mastered the art of complex fatty acid biochemistry – the reality is that cell membranes operate in a state of competitive inhibition with fatty acids of all carbon chain lengths and their role is highly sophisticated and complementary.

So…the paper out in the journal Cell this month (Sept 2010) from the lab of Prof. Olefsky at the University of California is a really exciting addition to the extensive research available – in that it elegantly describes a key anti-inflammatory mechanism using a G-protein coupled receptor.[1]

A study published August 2010 in the Journal Pediatrics looked at a large cross-sectional study of Japanese teenagers and describes that a higher intake of fish, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is independently associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms in boys but not in girls.[1]

Now whilst it is generally felt that the role of fatty acids is vital in terms of brain health and function there is a scarcity of substantive epidemiological evidence to support direct benefits in terms of inhibiting depression.

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