Low DHA and EPA Linked to Major Depression and Anxiety
Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
Psychiatric researchers have established a significant link between a lack of the essential fatty acids EPA and DHA and significant mental health problems – Major Depressive Disorder and related anxiety disorders.
Compared to non-depressed people, those with Major Depressive Disorder had significantly lower levels of DHA and EPA. As levels dropped even lower, especially the DHA level, then anxiety would also accompany the depression.
Essential fatty acids will be slowly built into brain cells over time, which is why consistent intake is important. This gives a person an opportunity to have a better structure of brain cells, which helps the brain function more normally. Clearly, previous studies have shown that EPA and DHA, especially DHA, are needed for brain health and stress tolerance. This study highlights that a significant lack in these nutrients opens up the risk for depression and anxiety.
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