Home > Article Index > Age Spots > Diet

ē Go Back

Reprinted from:

Experiments Strengthen Link Between Fish Oil, Mental Problems

Experiments Strengthen Link Between Fish Oil, Mental Problems
April 18, 2002

BETHESDA, Md. (Cox News Service) -- Infant monkeys fed baby formulas supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids - the ones found in "fish oil" - were stronger and more alert even at less than a week old than monkeys given standard baby formula.

And by the time they were adolescents, those that had been deprived of the special omega-3 baby food were showing signs of physical quirks that have been used to predict with unusual accuracy whether human teenagers will someday be incarcerated.

The experiments were described Wednesday by Dr. Joseph Hibbeln, a researcher at the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, (NIAAA) in a presentation to other NIH scientists.

They are part of a growing body of science indicating links between diets low in omega-3 and such problems as bipolar depression, suicide and post-partum depression in mothers of young infants.

Heart researchers have believed for decades that modern diets low in omega-3, and high in a related group of fatty acids known as omega-6, are associated with increased risk of heart disease.

Evidence that mental and behavioral problems may also stem from omega-3 deficiencies is more recent. But according to Hibbeln, chief of an NIAAA biochemistry laboratory, the evidence is dramatic.

The incidence of major depression is nearly 60 times as great in New Zealand, where the average consumption of seafood per person is about 40 pounds a year, as it is in Japan, where the average person eats nearly 150 pounds of seafood a year.

And post-partum depression, the condition that some blamed for the actions of Andrea Yates, a Houston woman convicted of first-degree murder recently in the drowning deaths of her five children, is 50 times more common in countries with low levels of seafood consumption, scientists have reported.

Harvard researchers gave two groups of persons who had recently been hospitalized with depression diets that were high in omega-3 and omega-6, respectively. The results were so dramatic that after three months, the scientists were directed by a research oversight committee to stop the experiment and allow all the subjects to take omega-3, Hibbeln said.

omega-6 is a typical component of modern human diets that rely heavily on processed foods, grains and grain-fed farm animals. These diets may be deficient in omega-3, which is much more prevalent in wild game, fish and some nuts, he said.

omega-3 seems to be critical to the growth and maintenance of brain cells, especially cell membranes. That is where all-important neurotransmitters bounce between cells, communicating all sorts of messages, including those related to feelings of well-being, Hibbeln said.

When omega-3 is not available, the body uses what it has, typically omega-6, which produces cell membranes less able to manage the traffic of neurotransmitters.

Hibbeln, who was trained as a psychiatrist, sometimes suggests that people supplement their diets with from one to three grams a day of fish oil labeled to show it contains the omega-3 components eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Although "cold-water" fish such as tuna and salmon are said to be higher in omega-3, shallow-water fish also is rich in it, he said.

In fact, even farm-raised salmon is higher in omega-3 than beef, because in addition to its grain-based "fish chow," the salmon gets some of the important fatty acid from other food in the water, he added.

Copyright 2002 Cox News Service. All rights reserved.

Reprinted from:

Liver Flush - Quackery or Valuable Remedy  Apr 18 2003
Robert C. Atkins, M.D. Dies at 72  Apr 18 2003
Why You Donít Want to Drink Pasteurized Milk  Mar 30 2003
Fish Farms Become Feedlots of the Sea  Dec 28 2002
The Truth about Osteoporosis  Aug 30 2002
Scientists shocked at GM gene transfer  Aug 28 2002
Vitamin A -- A Vital Nutrient  Aug 12 2002
Vegetarian Diet In Pregnancy Linked To Birth Defect  Aug 12 2002
Vitamin E for Your Brain  Aug 09 2002
Can GM food make your body immune to ANTIBIOTICS ?  Jul 20 2002
How You Can Avoid Having a Premature Baby  Jun 26 2002
Fish Oil Reduces Breast Cancer  Jun 08 2002
Taming the Beast; My Progress - Multiple Sclerosis  May 30 2002
Beating Multiple Sclerosis  May 29 2002
My Fight Against Multiple Sclerosis  May 29 2002
Some pain killers may delay bone healing  May 28 2002
Experiments Strengthen Link Between Fish Oil, Mental Problems  May 21 2002
Raw Eating - A book by A.T. Hovannessian (Aterhov)  May 21 2002
Caffeine, even in small doses, may hurt arteries  May 18 2002
Want a Healthy Heart? Drink Water  May 16 2002
Avoiding Wheat and Gluten May Reverse Liver Failure and Hepatitis  May 08 2002
Fish Oil Helps Prevent Diabetes  May 08 2002
Study: Folk remedy used in India cuts cholesterol  May 03 2002
Black Raspberries Thwart Colon Cancer  May 03 2002
Excitotoxins - MSG and Aspartame  May 03 2002
UK Parents Say NO To Fluoride In School Milk  May 02 2002
Vegetarians Face Child Abuse Charge  Apr 30 2002
Minnesota - the first US State to offer Freedom of Choice  Apr 30 2002
Patients Turn to Nutrition to Help in War on Cancer  Apr 30 2002
Hudfletter forskerne som slo kreftalarm  Apr 27 2002
Diet, Aging, and Muscle by Joe Friel  Apr 26 2002
Akrylamid-listen  Apr 26 2002
Kreftalarm etter giftfunn i mat  Apr 26 2002
Cooked tomatoes 'better for you than raw'  Apr 26 2002
'Programmed Obesity' Handed Down To Next Generation  Apr 26 2002
Dr. Atkins suffered cardiac arrest  Apr 25 2002
Cut Bowel Cancer Risk by Eating Less, Better: Study  Apr 25 2002
UPDATE 3-Crisps, french fries, bread may cause cancer-study  Apr 25 2002
Swedish Study of Food and Cancer Rings Alarm Bells  Apr 24 2002
Virgin Olive Oil May Reduce Cholesterol Damage  Apr 24 2002
Beans and Peas Can Cut Heart Disease Risk  Dec 15 2001

Back To Top

Google Advertisement

Google Advertisement

Google Advertisement

Google Advertisement


Donate to CureZone

0.0469 sec