Of course we don’t know for sure if it does improve mood, but just in case, Dr. Sarah Conklin from the department of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh has a possible mechanism.

She presented the results of this study during the American Psychosomatic Society’s Annual Meeting in Budapest, Hungary.

  • 55 healthy adults were interviewed to determine their average intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Grey matter volume in the brain was evaluated using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Adults with higher levels of long-chain omega-3 fatty acid in their diet had higher volumes of grey matter in areas of the brain associated with emotional arousal and regulation — the bilateral anterior cingulate cortex, the right amygdala, and the right hippocampus.

These are the same areas where grey matter is reduced in people with mood disorders such as major depressive disorder.

The bottom line?
Interesting, but variability in the results of studies in humans suggest it’s not the entire story.

3/30/07 19:42 JR

Hi, I’m JR

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.