The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Effect of vegetarian diets on mood

    Vegetarian diets exclude fish, the major dietary source of fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are critical regulators of brain cell structure and function.

    Researchers at Arizona State University, in Mesa, examined associations between mood and polyunsaturated fatty acid intake in vegetarian and omnivorous diets.

    First, the details.

    • 138 healthy Seventh Day Adventist men and women completed a food frequency questionnaire.
    • They also completed the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) and Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaires–higher scores mean poorer condition.

    And, the results.

    • Compared to omnivores, vegetarians reported significantly…
      1. Less negative emotion
      2. Lower intakes of EPA, DHA, and the omega-6 fatty acid, arachidonic acid
      3. Higher intakes of shorter-chain alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid

    The bottom line?

    Participants who matched bullets 2 and 3 had better mood.

    The authors concluded, “Vegetarian diet profile does not appear to adversely affect mood despite low intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.”

    6/3/10 22:01 JR

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