Washington: Consuming more fish oil seems to significantly ease anxiety and inflammation among healthy young people.
Inflammation is the way the body reacts to infection, irritation or other injury, the key feature being redness, warmth, swelling and pain.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have long been considered healthy dietary additives, reports the journal Brain, Behaviour and Immunity.
Previous research suggests these compounds might reduce the level of cytokines, compounds that promote inflammation, according to an Ohio University statement.
Psychological stress has been shown to up cytokine output, so the researchers wondered if increasing omega-3 might mitigate that process, reducing inflammation. They turned to a group of medical students to test their theory.
"We hypothesized that giving some students omega-3 supplements would decrease their production of proinflammatory cytokines, compared to other students who only received a placebo," explained Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry at Ohio.
Half the students received omega-3 supplements while the other half were given placebo pills. Those receiving the omega-3 showed a 20 percent reduction in anxiety compared to the placebo group.