Medical students at the Ohio State University participated in a study showing that by consuming fish oil supplements, people can reduce inflammation and anxiety, according to a report by Natural Products Insider.
The supplements used in the study, which was supported in part by a grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a part of the National Institutes of Health, were approximately four or five times the amount of fish oil found in a daily serving of salmon, showing that using supplements to get effective doses of omega-3’s in the diet rather than relying on fish dinners has credibility, according to the report.
A total of 68 first- and second-year medical students volunteered for the clinical trial, and were randomly divided into six groups. They were each interviewed six times during the study and at each visit, they had blood samples taken and completed a number of psychological surveys to gauge their levels of stress, anxiety or depression, the report stated. Students also completed questionnaires about their diets during the previous weeks. Half received omega-3 supplements, while the other half were given placebo pills
The psychological surveys showed students receiving the omega-3 experienced a 20-percent reduction in anxiety compared to the placebo group, and an analysis of the of the blood samples showed a 14-percent reduction in the amount of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) in the blood serum among the students receiving the omega-3, according to the report.
“Anything we can do to reduce cytokines is a big plus in dealing with the overall health of people at risk for many diseases,” Ron Glaser, study co-author and professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics and director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research said in the report. Inflammation is a natural immune response that helps the body heal, but it also can play a harmful role in a host of diseases ranging from arthritis to heart disease to cancer.