Fat Lightens the Load

News Note

By Lara Evans Bracciante

Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, June/July 2003.

Omega-3 fatty acids have proven beneficial in treating a myriad of chronic inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease as well as memory loss, diabetes, psoriasis and more. Now add to that list heart disease and depression.

According to several recent studies, omega-3s have been shown to lower heart disease risk by thinning the blood and thus minimizing blood clots and clogged arteries. In addition, several other studies have reported the link between deficient omega-3 levels and depression. Researchers believe this group of polyunsaturated fats enhances the metabolism of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that play a key role in mental function.

Many Americans are deficient in omega-3s due to a Western diet that de-emphasizes fare containing these fatty acids. Food sources include: cold-water fish, such as herring, mackerel, sardines and salmon; flaxseed, hemp, borage and canola oils; dark green, leafy vegetables; nuts; and avocados. Essential fatty acid and fish oil capsules are also available.