takeOmega3 to reduce the detrimental effects of stress on your mind and body.

Stress is very much part of life today - the impact stress has on our physical/mental health can be extremely detrimental. The majority of the damage is caused by excessive amounts of the hormone cortisol which is released when we are stressed or angry.However, the overproduction of cortisol leads to low mood, low energy levels and it is also implicated in an increase in violence and suicide.

In 2003 the role of EPA and its potential as a blocker re Cortisol was first investigated - a team at the University of British Columbia’s Department of Psychiatry tested the effects of the omega-3 fatty acid EPA and found that when they fed patients omega-3 EPA, it prevented any rise in levels of cortisol, stress, or anxiety.

If anxiety is worrying about the future, then it has a fellow traveller, depression. Depression can be viewed as an over-reaction about regret associated with past events.

The brain is incredibly sensitive to inflammation, not the type you can feel but the type of inflammation that is below the perception of pain. This type of inflammation causes a breakdown in signaling between cells. So when the brain becomes inflamed, its only protection is adequate levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.

There are two omega-3 fatty acids in the brain. The first is called docosahexaenoic acid or DHA. This is primarily a structural component for the brain. The other is called eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA. This is the primary anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid for the brain. So if the levels of EPA are low in the blood, they are going to be low in the brain. And the lifetime of EPA in the brain is very limited. This means you have to have a constant supply in the blood stream to keep neuro-inflammation under control.

It is known from work with uni-polar and bi-polar depressed patients, that high-dose fish oil rich in EPA has remarkable benefits. Since anxiety has a significant link with depression, the obvious question becomes is it possible that high levels of EPA can reduce anxiety? The answer appears to be yes, according to a study conducted in 2008 using substance abusers. It is known that increased anxiety is one of the primary reasons why substance abusers and alcoholics tend to relapse.

When these patients were given a high dose of EPA (greater than 2 grams of EPA per day), there was a significant reduction in anxiety compared to those receiving a placebo. In other studies with normal individuals without clinical depression or anxiety, increased intake of EPA improved their ability to handle stress and generated significant improvements in mood.

Even for "normal" individuals, high dose EPA seems to make them happier and better able to handle stress.


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