We all know a fisherman or two who love telling you how they happily stand on a rock or sit in a boat for hours on end to catch that fish. They tell me it is very relaxing! Well a recent study reported in JAMA Network Open demonstrates that eating fish can help reduce your level of anxiety!
The report was a metanalysis of 19 studies where fish oil capsules were used. The important ingredients in fish oil are the Omega-3 Fatty Acids: EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) and DHA (docosahexanoic acid).
And it seems 2000mg of fish oil was the daily dose required to be effective. This is equivalent to around 200g of canned sardines. This significantly reduced the level of anxiety in people diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder.
As is so common with studies, the authors reported, “It might be too early to recommend omega-3 as the first-line treatment for anxiety. More well conducted clinical trials are needed to reach that kind of consensus.”
These qualifying statements are all too common when it comes to research on natural therapies. However, in my opinion, if you consider the risk to benefit ratio, the risk would seem to be fairly low, especially if taken in the form of eating fish!
SSRI’s such as Prozac are used every day by doctors to treat anxiety and the risk to benefit ratio isn’t all that wonderful. The more risks include getting addicted to them, as well as the small but devastating risk of suicide. Currently, over 10% of the Australian population are taking them every day.
If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, eating more fish seems a reasonable option to try.
I should caution anyone taking blood thinners, including even aspirin, should discuss this with their doctor before taking any high dose, long term fish oil capsules.
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