Mellow Out with Fish Oil

Dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, sardines, walnuts and flaxseed, and research has demonstrated that running low on these essential fatty acids can lead to depression and other mental disorders. Now a new study suggests that even if you’re just plain grumpy, omega-3s may help boost your mood. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine recruited 106 people, none of whom had depression or any other mood disorder, recorded their blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, and gave them a test to evaluate mood, personality and impulsive behavior. They found that those with low levels of omega-3s were more likely to be more moody, impulsive and have mild to moderate symptoms of depression. Participants with higher blood levels of omega-3s were more likely to be agreeable and upbeat. The researchers said that while additional studies are needed to determine the relationship between omega-3s, mental health and behavior, eating fish at least twice a week might help boost mood. The study was presented on March 3, 2006 at the annual scientific meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society in Denver.

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