(Contributed by Wahab Dogar)
Omega-3 fatty acids (ω3 fatty acids) are a class of fatty acids playing a key role in lowering cholesterol levels in the body thereby helping in cardiovascular problems. A new study by Indiana University School of Medicine have found that these may also help in treating alcohol abuse and psychiatric disorders.
Researchers have found that fatty acid DHA, which is one of the main active ingredients in fish oil, helps a lot in normalizing the behaviour of mice models of bipolar disorder prepared in the lab of Alexander B. Niculescu, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and the lead author of the study reported online in the Nature Publishing Group journal Translational Psychiatry.
Dr. Niculescu and his team members found that genes that are the targets of psychiatric medications were altered and become normalized by DHA. Moreover, mice model showed decreased craving for alcohol. Mouse brain molecular changes and molecular markers, i.e. biomarkers, in the blood are correlated.
The researchers also found correlations between mouse brain molecular changes and molecular markers in their blood, so called “biomarkers.”
Omega-3 fatty acids work in the brain in much the same way as psychiatric medications. This study showed that diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids may help the patients of bipolar disorder and other people in decreasing the desire for alcohol. Moreover, side effects were very much lessened.
According to Dr. Niculescu more research can be done in this area.
References and Further Reading:
H Le-Niculescu, Y Balaraman, S D Patel, M Ayalew, J Gupta, R Kuczenski, A Shekhar, N Schork, M A Geyer, A B Niculescu. Convergent functional genomics of anxiety disorders: translational identification of genes, biomarkers, pathways and mechanisms. Translational Psychiatry, 2011; 1 (5)
CardioVas.aspx accessed 07 June, 2011
Wahab Dogar, Batch-II, Hajvery University, Gulberg-III, Lahore, Pakistan