To Your Health
November, 2017 (Vol. 11, Issue 11)
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Food for Thought: Omega-3s for PTSD?

By Editorial Staff

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious condition that can affect anyone who experiences a traumatic event, from war to terrorism, abuse / assault, a violent event or a disaster.

Treatment is complex and often requires multi-faceted strategies to help the PTSD sufferer. The condition is very real and disturbingly prevalent: According to the nonprofit organization PTSD United, an estimated 8 percent of Americans – 24 million – suffer from PTSD at any given time.

Omega-3 fatty acids to the rescue? Perhaps. Researchers have discovered that patients receiving omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids within 10 days of their traumatic event (accidental injury) and continuing for 12 weeks, reduced their heart rate both at rest and while performing script-driven imagery of their traumatic event. (Elevated heart rate is a common symptom of PTSD, particularly when visualizing the trauma incident.) Heart rate reductions were significant compared to a control group of PTSD patients who received placebo pill (a pill without any active ingredient, including omega-3s).

While these findings are preliminary and did not involve severe PTSD cases, it's definitely food for thought. Talk to your doctor about the many benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and how they can positively impact your health.