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Nutrition

Omega-3 May Protect Against Neurological Disorders

14 years, 9 months ago

841  0
Posted on Jan 29, 2004, 11 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Omega-3 fatty acids may do more than protect the heart, say researchers from the National Institute of Alcoholism (NIAAA). Joseph R Hibbeln of the NIAA

Omega-3 fatty acids may do more than protect the heart, say researchers from the National Institute of Alcoholism (NIAAA). Joseph R Hibbeln of the NIAA’s Laboratory of Membrane Biochemistry and Biophysics discovered that countries with the highest rates of fish consumption had the lowest rates of depression, while countries that eat little fish had the highest. Omega-3’s benefits may go even further as Hibbeln also observed a similar relationship between fish consumption and homicide, suicide, and postpartum depression rates. The effect of fish consumption on the incidence postpartum depression appears to be dramatic &endash; Hibbeln found that rates of postpartum depression are a staggering 50-times higher in countries where women don’t eat fish. Hibbeln began studying the effect of omega-3 on neurological disorders in 1984 when he realized that nearly 60% of the brain is composed of fat. He believes that the change in the American diet over the last 100 years has had a dramatic impact upon brain health &endash; since 1909 our consumption of omega-6 fatty acids has increased by 1,000-fold. Hibbeln suspects that the large amounts of omega-6 that we consume may be preventing omega-3 from entering brain cells and keeping the brain healthy. Hibbeln’s observations have led scientists to begin studying the effect of omega-3 on a number of neurological disorders, including depression bipolar disease, ADHD, alcoholism, and Alzheimer’s disease.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported Citizens for Health (http://website.citizens.org) on the 21st August 2003.

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