What are the benefits of Fish Oil and mood regulation through fish oil? A benefit of fish oil is mood regulation? Can fish oil be combined with dark chocolate somehow?
That last question hopefully piqued your curiosity because both dark chocolate and omega 3 fish oil can can impact your feeling state.
Professors Simon Evans and Paul Burghardt have written a wonderful book, "Brainfit for Life" which gives us some excellent information about the benefits of fish oil on mood and brain function.
"One of the best-studied classes of nutrients relevant to psychological stress is, again, the omega-3s.
We discussed the basics of omega-3s in chapter 2. In this section, we get into some of the roles they play in stabilizing your mood. There are many studies connecting dietary omega-3 intake to various aspects of mood.
In general, societies that eat more fish, the primary source of the brain healthy omega-3s (EPA and DHA) have lower rates of depression.
There are also seasonal variations in suicidal behavior that correlate with fish intake. In Scandinavian countries, during times of the year when fish intake is lower, there is an increase in violent suicides.
In some studies, people that attempted suicide, have lower blood levels of omega-3s and in other studies people with less fish intake admitted to considering suicide more frequently.
Now, this is not to say that if you don’t eat fish you will find yourself perched on top of a bridge, but, combined with other life factors and genetic drivers, omega-3s do seem to play a strong role in regulating mood and depression in many people.
All of these human studies provide strong circumstantial evidence that omega-3 intake affects mood. But the human data are still circumstantial...." Professors Evans and Burghardt go on to amplify their discussion on the benefits of fish oil by detailing rat studies.
Using the rats as subjects allow experimenters to control for some variables, and to make stronger connections on the benefits of fish oil than we can make with human subjects.
In other words, we move from the realm of inference towards something closer to cause and effect.
While the rats do not have the prefrontal cortex that humans have, they have many of the same kinds of brain structures, for example, pleasure centers, which we have, so observation of denying omega 3's and then supplementing omega 3's can be made.
The research on rats indicates that omega 3's play an important part in rat social and exploratory behavior. In other words, they do what rats do.
Without the omega 3 fish oil, rats don't do social activities and give up on certain challenges.
In Brainfit for Life, the authors suggest that since we cannot get the appropriate amount of fish oil from our usual source, fish, because we have polluted the oceans with mercury, we need to supplement, and any supplement we buy should indicate that the contaminants have been purified away.
An indication on the label of this distillation on the product would be the words "molecular distillation".
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