More on DHA: How It can Help Mood Disorder and Addiction


Mood disorder and DHA? You might consider adding more fish to your child's diet.The magic ingredient in fish is DHA, known to play a significant role in brain development, particularly during fetal growth and infancy.

Now researchers have found a direct link between DHA and mood disorder as well as addiction. According to scientists at the Indiana School of Medicine, it exerts a therapeutic effect on the the brain at the molecular level that can help people afflicted with depression, alcohol abuse and psychiatric disorders.

Evidence shows that DHA can modulate the genetic brain chemistry of these mice.When stress sensitive mice (that behave in ways similar to humans afflicted with bipolar disorder) are given omega fatty 3 acids, the fatty acid DHA (a main ingredient in fish oil) exerted a normalizing influence on their behavior. When exposed to stress, these mice did not become depressed or manic.

Another unexpected discovery is that these DHA enhanced mice also demonstrated a decreased desire for alcohol; in fact, the DHA seemed to be responsible for reducing their "alcohol abusive behavior."

Dr. Alexander B. Niculescu MD, Ph.D, associate professor of psychiatry and lead author of the published study claims that a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids may very well prevent and treat bipolar disorder and alcoholism.

Evidence shows that DHA and other omega 3 fatty acids can exert, at the molecular level of the brain, influences that are similar to those exerted by psychiatric drugs.

Unlike psychiatric drugs, however, omega fatty 3 acids have no major side effects. This means that these fatty acids can be used in conjunction with drugs for the treatment of various emotional and psychological disorders.

The next step for Dr. Niculescu's team is moving towards clinical studies in humans.

The best source of DHA is cold water fish like Alaskan salmon, herring, mackerel, halibut and trout.


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Indiana University School of Medicine (2011, May 27). Fish oil may have positive effects on mood, alcohol craving, new study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 4, 2011, from­ /releases/2011/05/110526091758.htm

Disclaimer: The above information is meant only to inform and should never displace professional consultation.

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