Originally published June 9 2011
by John Phillip
(NaturalNews) Omega-3 fats are part of our nutritional heritage and are shown
to play a crucial role in the prevention and treatment of debilitating
conditions such as clinical depression throughout all phases of life and
especially in the elderly. Neural cellular walls are largely constructed of
Omega-3 fats, specifically the DHA long-chain component that determines how
nutrients transport across cell membranes, electrical conductivity and the
activity of critical neurotransmitters in cellular communications. Results
published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging demonstrate that daily
supplementation with Omega-3 fats may significantly suppress the symptoms of
depression among elderly women.
The study found that depressed women that supplemented with 2.5 grams of Omega-3 fats daily experienced significant reductions in their symptoms. In an important finding, the scientists conducting the study found that the long chain fat was responsible for dramatic improvements in future outlook, self-esteem and quality of life. Researchers commented "This [quality of life] observation has never been achieved before and it appears of great value from the clinical point of view, due to the importance of these aspects in the elderly population."
One of the most common medications prescribed to adults, and especially the elderly, is in the anti-depressant classification. Anti-depressants cause a long list of side effects including blurred vision, weight gain, headache, anxiety and sleep disruption. Many of these effects lead to a lowered quality of life and actually worsen the condition being treated. Multiple studies have determined that Omega-3 supplementation cuts depression ratings by 50%, without the devastating side effects of prescription drugs.
A body of research published in the journal Nature Neuroscience pinpoints the critical nature of Omega-3 fats during maternal nurturing and early childhood development. Due to the rapid decline of these essential fats from the diet over the course of the past century, clinical depression cases have exploded as the balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fats far exceeds the optimal 1:1 ratio. Researchers determined that insufficient Omega-3 fats in circulation led to disturbed neuronal communications that play a strategic role in neurotransmissions. The dietary fat imbalance influenced emotional behavior and increased anxiety, and it was the primary cause of depression.
The low fat diet so often prescribed by medical professionals and nutrition experts has caused a critical deficiency of healthy fats necessary for the development of the human brain from infancy to adulthood. In addition to the extensive library of research showing the effectiveness of Omega-3 fats in cardiovascular health and cognition, new evidence documents the need for this essential nutrient through all stages of life to improve self-esteem and to prevent depression. Health-minded people will want to supplement with 2.5 grams of combined EPA/DHA to naturally protect against behavior disorders and depression.