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Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help with Anxiety

New research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids (also known as EPA/DHA or PUFAs) may decrease symptoms of anxiety in patients with a range of conditions, including borderline personality disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). In a systematic review and meta-analysis, both placebo-controlled and non-placebo-controlled trials showed that omega-3 had at least some effect on patients with anxiety. Doses of at least 2000 mg/day of omega-3 seemed more beneficial than lower doses. This treatment may provide a safer option than "highly addictive" anxiolytics in some patients, according to Kuan-Pin Su, MD, PhD. "For patients who are not responsive to traditional anxiety treatment, such as antidepressants or psychotherapies, omega-3 PUFAs might be a promising alternative and adjunctive treatment with a great safety profile," Su said. While this report is encouraging, more research needs to be done. Patients should not make any changes to their medications without discussing with their doctors first.


JAMA Network Open. Published online September 14, 2018.

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