“omega 3” by Khaldaa Photographer is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Reduce Anxiety

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“omega 3” by Khaldaa Photographer is licensed under CC BY 2.0Yutaka MATSUOKA, MD, PhD

Division Chief of Health Care Research,
Behavioral Sciences and Survivorship Research Group,
Center for Public Health Sciences,
National Cancer Center Japan

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Anxiety is the most commonly experienced psychiatric symptom. We have now two major treatment options that include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and pharmacotherapy.  However, CBT is time-consuming, costly, and limited in availability. And there is concern over potential side effects in pharmacotherapy. Evidence-based and safer treatment options are required. Omega-3 fatty acids have potential preventive and therapeutic effects on depression and anxiety. Clinical and preclinical studies support the effectiveness of omega-3 fatty acids as a treatment for anxiety disorders. Despite the largely positive findings of these trials, the clinical application of the findings is unfortunately limited by their small sample size.

Improvement in anxiety symptoms were associated with omega-3 fatty acids treatment compared with controls. The anxiolytic effects of omega-3 fatty acids were also stronger in patients with clinical conditions than in subclinical populations. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response:  Omega-3 fatty acid treatment for anxiety might be effective in clinical setting. Because of preliminary and heterogeneous participants among the recruited studies, clinicians should pay attention when applied these results in clinical practice.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: We suggested that larger and well-designed clinical trials with omega-3 fatty acids at high doses, provided as monotherapy and as adjunctive treatment to standard therapy should be warranted. In an area of cancer survivorship, we are investigating planning clinical research to

Disclosures: I have received donations from Morinaga Milk Industry Co. Ltd outside thus work.


Su K, Tseng P, Lin P, et al. Association of Use of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids With Changes in Severity of Anxiety SymptomsA Systematic Review and Meta-analysisJAMA Network Open.2018;1(5):e182327. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.2327

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Sep 15, 2018 @ 2:20 pm




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