Omega-3s May Bring On Better Mood

The fish oil nutrient may make people more 'agreeable,' study finds

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SATURDAY, March 4, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fish, may give a boost to behavior, mood and personality, new research suggests.

University of Pittsburgh researchers found that volunteers with lower blood levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids were more likely than others to be impulsive, to have a more negative outlook, and to report mild or moderate symptoms of depression.

Study participants with higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids were found to be more agreeable, however.

The findings were presented Friday at the American Psychosomatic Society meeting, in Denver.

"A number of previous studies have linked lower levels of omega-3 to clinically significant conditions such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, substance abuse and attention-deficit disorder," Sarah Conklin, a postdoctoral scholar with the psychiatry department's Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine Program, said in prepared statement.

"However, few studies have shown that these relationships also occur in healthy adults. This study opens the door for future research looking at what effect increasing omega-3 intake, whether by eating omega-3 rich foods like salmon, or taking fish-oil supplements, has on people's mood," Conklin said.

More information

The American Heart Association has more about omega-3 fatty acids.

SOURCE: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, news release, March 3, 2006

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