Most people know that Omega-3 fatty acids are great with regards to supporting a healthy heart. This is good news but did you know that Omega-3 has also been recognized as a fantastic supplement as a therapy used for many forms of depression (major, postpartum, manic (bipolar)) as well as schizophrenia.
This is not to say that people suffering with these debilitating mental illnesses should stop taking their chronic medication, but Omega-3 taken in a nice high dose will certainly help. Research Verified Omega-3 has a very high dosage in Omega-3 fatty acids and makes for the perfect choice when choosing Omega-3 supplements!
Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that almost 10% of all Americans are suffering with some form of depression. Adding to that, another 2.6% of Americans live with bipolar disorder and 1.1% suffer with schizophrenia. What’s sad is that a phenomenal 10-15% of pregnant women experience depression while around 1 in 5 new mothers experience postpartum depression on a daily basis. Having these mental illnesses can make life very hard for those suffering with them and it can also be life threatening. Information gathered from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention show that 90% of suicides occur with people who have treatable psychiatric illnesses.
How The Body Uses Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The amazing thing with Omega-3 fatty acids is how they affect the body’s central nervous system. Omega-3s are really important for:
- A well-functioning central nervous system
- For the transmission of signals between the eyes and brain
- For heart health
- Promoting healthy brain development in babies during both pregnancy and nursing
Unfortunately, the body can’t create its own Omega-3 fatty acids and therefore they need to be derived either from food or fish oil supplements. Omega-3s actually come in three different varieties:
- DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid)
- EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid)
- ALA (Alpha-linolenic Acid)
DHA is found in fatty cold-water fish like halibut, mackerel, salmon, sardines, herring and tuna. It concentrates in the brain’s gray matter as well as the eyes’ retinas.
DHA molecules are actually long-chain fatty acids. They are fluid as well as flexible. What they do is become part of the brain cells’ membrane and work at synapses. This is the place that chemical signals jump from cell to cell.
EPA is also found in cold-water fish. EPA plays a vital role in helping to maintain a healthy mood. It reduces inflammatory processes within the brain and balances out metabolic pathways. Numerous studies show that DHA alone doesn’t really work in having a therapeutic influence for depression. A little more EPA than DHA is required in order to get positive results. Some EPA also converts to DHA in the body.
ALA is found in flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, canola oil, purslane as well as walnuts. It is also found in small amounts in kale, brussel sprouts, spinach and salad greens. ALA does not really affect the mood but is more directed towards keeping the heart healthy. A small percentage of it is converted into EPA and DHA.
It has been proven that EPA and DHA can improve primary depression as well as have a very soothing effect in bipolar disorder (depression, not mania). With Omega-3s ability to help with schizophrenia as well as depression through and after pregnancy, it really proves to be the best friend of anyone with a mental illness. Food as well as supplements containing Omega-3 fatty acids should definitely be added to the grocery list!