fish oil

Fish oil may help improve mood in veterans

September 22, 2016

Science Daily/Texas A&M University

Low concentration of fish oil in the blood and lack of physical activity may contribute to the high levels of depressed mood among soldiers returning from combat, according to researchers.

 

In a study titled "Fatty Acid Blood Levels, Vitamin D Status, Physical Performance, Activity and Resiliency: A Novel Potential Screening Tool for Depressed Mood in Active Duty Soldiers," researchers worked with 100 soldiers at Fort Hood to identify which factors affected moods in returning soldiers.

 

The research was conducted by Major Nicholas Barringer when he was a Texas A&M doctoral student under the direction of Health & Kinesiology Professor and Department Head Richard Kreider, in collaboration with several current and former members of the U.S. Army, and colleagues at Texas A&M.

 

"We looked at how physical activity levels and performance measures were related to mood state and resiliency," Kreider says. "What we found was the decrease in physical activity and the concentration of fish oil and Omega-3s in the blood were all associated with resiliency and mood."

 

Kreider says fish oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids that help to boost brain function. He says studies also show that fish oil acts as an anti-inflammatory within the body -- helping athletes and soldiers manage intense training better. Fish oil content is especially important for soldiers due to the consistent training and physical regiments performed in and out of combat and risk to traumatic brain injury.

 

The study originated from research conducted by Colonel Mike Lewis, M.D. who examined Omega-3 fatty acid levels of soldiers who committed suicide compared to non-suicide control and found lower Omega-3 levels in the blood were associated with increased risk of being in the suicide group.

 

Barringer says he believes these findings to be significant toward addressing some of the issues many soldiers face.

 

"The mental health of our service members is a serious concern and it is exciting to consider that appropriate diet and exercise might have a direct impact on improving resiliency," Barringer notes.

 

In order to properly measure soldiers physically, Kreider and Barringer developed a formula they say has the potential to assist in effectively screening soldiers with potential PTSD ahead of time. The formula measures a number of factors including: fitness and psychometric assessments, physical activity, and additional analysis.

 

"By improving resiliency in service members, we can potentially decrease the risk of mental health issues," Barringer says. "Early identification can potentially decrease the risk of negative outcomes for our active service members as well as our separated and retired military veterans."

 

"The military is using some of our exercise, nutrition, and performance-related work and the findings may help identify soldiers at risk for depression when they return from combat tours," Kreider notes. He says that by working to identify such high-risk issues faced by soldiers, it can set a precedent that will benefit not only military leadership, but also the general public.

 

"The public must realize that our soldiers need support before, during, and after their service," Kreider explains. "There needs to be a time for soldiers to transition, become re-engaged within a community, and stay engaged in that community."

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160922104406.htm

Boosting mental performance with fish oil?

October 21, 2011

Science Daily/Northumbria University

A particular fish oil (omega-3) supplement has been shown to improve blood flow to the brain during mental activity and to impact on certain aspects of mental performance in young adults, according to new research.

 

In the first of two studies, currently available in the online edition of the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that overall, taking either of two different types of fish oil supplement for three months had no consistent impact on mental function in 18 -- 35-year-olds, however they did find evidence of reduced mental fatigue and faster reaction times. Contrary to popular belief, these results suggest that taking omega-3 or fish oil supplements may not have an immediate or measureable impact on mental performance in healthy young adults, possibly due to the fact that this population is already performing at its mental peak or that higher doses or longer than 12 weeks supplementation are required.

 

Interestingly, in the second of these studies it was found that taking DHA-rich fish oil over the same time period did increase blood flow to active areas of the brain during performance of similar mental tasks. The researchers claim these findings could have implications for mental function later on in life, as evidence suggests regularly eating oily fish or taking omega-3 supplements may prevent cognitive decline and dementia, and increased blood flow to the brain may be a mechanism by which this occurs.

 

As these results suggest benefits may be seen with longer term supplementation in older age groups, researchers now plan to investigate this in people between the ages of 50 and 70 to assess the impact of a fish oil supplement on their memory, mental performance and blood flow to the brain.

 

Lead researcher Dr Philippa Jackson said: "If we can pinpoint both the behavioural and brain blood flow effects of this fatty acid in older healthy people, then the benefits for those with mental degenerative conditions associated with normal aging could be that much greater."

 

Researchers are hoping to recruit more people to take part in the study to investigate the effects of DHA in older people.

 

They are keen to hear from individuals who are generally healthy, living in or near the Newcastle area who feel their memory is not as good as it used to be and who don't currently eat oily fish on a regular basis or take omega-3 supplements.

Participants will be asked to take a DHA-rich supplement for six months, for which they will receive £50 and a 12 month supply of the supplement.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111021074640.htm

Fish oil's impact on cognition and brain structure

August 17, 2011

Science Daily/Lifespan

Researchers have found positive associations between fish oil supplements and cognitive functioning as well as differences in brain structure between users and non-users of fish oil supplements. The findings suggest possible benefits of fish oil supplements on brain health and aging.

 

Daiello says, "In the imaging analyses for the entire study population, we found a significant positive association between fish oil supplement use and average brain volumes in two critical areas utilized in memory and thinking (cerebral cortex and hippocampus), as well as smaller brain ventricular volumes compared to non-users at any given time in the study. In other words, fish oil use was associated with less brain shrinkage in patients taking these supplements during the ADNI study compared to those who didn't report using them."

 

Daiello continues, "These observations should motivate further study of the possible effects of long-term fish oil supplementation on important markers of cognitive decline and the potential influence of genetics on these outcomes."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110817120220.htm

Member Login
Welcome, (First Name)!

Forgot? Show
Log In
Enter Member Area
My Profile Not a member? Sign up. Log Out