A diet low in omega-3 fatty acids may produce neurobiological effects that may result in a predisposition for mood disorders, according to animal research published in Nature Neuroscience.
Maintaining a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids is commonly recommended in clinical guidelines related to the management of:
• Heart disease
Researchers fed mice a diet designed to mimic a lifelong imbalance in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. A dietary reduction in omega-3 fatty acids was associated with diminished functioning of the cannabinoid CB1 receptors in the mice’s brains.
The investigators found that the dietary-induced reduction in the functioning of cannabinoid CB1 receptors was associated with impaired emotional behavior in the mice. In addition, synaptic plasticity, which is dependent on cannabinoid CB1 receptor activity, was deficient in the malnourished mice in at least two brain regions: the prefrontax cortex and the nucleus accumbens.These brain regions are crucial for reward, motivation, and emotional regulation.
Today’s research provides a neurobiological correlate for epidemiological evidence that low dietary levels of omega-3 fatty acids are linked with an increased incidence of mood disorders, including depression.
Good Sources Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Walnuts, flax-seeds, beans, live oil and winter squash are excellent foods that will provide you with concentrated sources of omega-3 fatty acids. One-quarter cup of flax seeds contains about 7 grams of omega-3 fatty acids while one-quarter cup of walnuts contains about 2.3 grams. At Creative Health Institute we make sure our guests and students have plenty of flax seed and walnuts to insure their getting enough omega-3 fat in their daily diets.