An estimated 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. develop an anxiety disorder each year, so finding a safe, cost-effective way to manage anxiety would be of great benefit to millions of people. A recently published meta-analysis concludes that omega-3 oil supplements might reduce symptoms of anxiety for some people. Researchers took data from 19 clinical trials including a total of 1,203 participants. Their findings were published in the JAMA Network Open journal. After analysis, their findings supported their initial theory.
They saw a significant reduction in anxiety in the groups treated with omega-3s compared with the placebo groups. Interestingly, the positive effects of omega-3s were particularly pronounced for people who had clinical diagnoses of psychiatric conditions. Omega-3 PUFAs are present in brain membranes and, as the authors write, they may “interfere with and possibly control several neurobiological processes, such as neurotransmitter systems, neuroplasticity, and inflammation.”