Posted on Dec 03, 2012, 6 a.m.
Increased consumption of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 fatty acid, helps to lower the risk of anxiety.
Mounting evidence suggests that low dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids may increase the risk of mental health disorders. Felice N. Jacka, from Deakin University (Australia), and colleagues analyzed data from 935 women, ages 20 to 93 years, surveying subjects for their dietary intake of omega-3s and assessing psychological symptoms via standardized assessments. The team found that increased consumption of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 fatty acid, reduced the risk of anxiety. No benefits are reported for intakes of other omega 3s such as eicosapentanaeoic acid (EPA), linoleic acid, alpha-linoleic acid, or arachidonic acid. The study authors report that: "These are the first observational data to indicate a role for [docosahexaenoic acid] in anxiety disorders.”
Felice N. Jacka, Julie A. Pasco, Lana J. Williams, Barbara J. Meyer, Rebecca Digger, Michael Berk. “Dietary intake of fish and PUFA, and clinical depressive and anxiety disorders in women.” British Journal of Nutrition, October 10, 2012.