Omega 3 and stress

A previous post discussed Omega 3s and anxiety.

While the role of omega 3’s and inflammation has been studied(1), omega 3’s and stress is not as well studied.

This post discusses a study looking at Omega 3’s and stress reduction.

Who was in the study? (2)

138 sedentary, overweight, middle-aged participants (n = 93 women, n = 45 men) received either 2.5 g/d of omega-3, 1.25 g/d of omega-3, or a placebo for 4 months (2).

What was studied? (2)

  • Before and after the trial, participants underwent the Trier Social Stress Test.
  • Saliva and blood samples were collected once before and repeatedly after the stressor to measure salivary cortisol, telomerase in peripheral blood lymphocytes, and serum anti-inflammatory (interleukin-10; IL-10) and pro-inflammatory (interleukin-6; IL-6, interleukin-12, tumor necrosis factor-alpha) cytokines.

What were the results? (2)

  • Adjusting for pre-supplementation reactivity, age, sagittal abdominal diameter, and sex, omega-3 supplementation altered telomerase (p = 0.05) and IL-10 (p = 0.05) stress reactivity; both supplementation groups were protected from the placebo group’s 24% and 26% post-stress declines in the geometric means of telomerase and IL-10, respectively.
  • Omega-3 reduced overall cortisol (p = 0.03) and IL-6 (p = 0.03) throughout the stressor;
  • The group that received 2.5gram per day of Omega 3’s had had 19% and 33% lower overall cortisol levels (lower stress) and IL-6 geometric mean levels (lowering inflammation), respectively, compared to the placebo group.

The authors (2) conclude that, by lowering overall inflammation and cortisol levels during stress and boosting repair mechanisms during recovery, omega-3 may slow accelerated aging and reduce depression risk.

What are some caveats?

  • This is a small study and further study is needed.
  • The population studied was middle aged, which makes it difficult to generalize to specific populations like college students.
  • Omega 3s may interact with prescription medications and supplements.
  • Omega 3’s have other health benefits (3) as well.
  • Talk to your doctor or prescriber before considering omega 3’s.

What are some sources of omega 3s?
According to the National Institute of Health(3), sources of omega 3’s include:
• Fish and other seafood (especially cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines)
• Nuts and seeds (such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts)
• Plant oils (such as flaxseed oil, soybean oil, and canola oil)
• Fortified foods (such as certain brands of eggs, yogurt, juices, milk, soy beverages, and infant formulas)
• Omega-3 dietary supplements include fish oil, krill oil, cod liver oil, and algal oil (a vegetarian source that comes from algae). They come in a wide range of doses and forms.

How much omega 3s do I need per day?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends consuming no more than 3 g/day of EPA and DHA combined, including up to 2 g/day from dietary supplements (3).

Where can I learn more about omega 3s?

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-Consumer/

What are some resources to improve nutrition?
• Nutrition coaching with The OSU Student Wellness Center
• Nutritionist at The OSU Wilce Wilce Student Health center
• Nutritionist at The OSU Wexner medical center
• Nutrition books
• Take a nutrition class
• Take a look at the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
• Harvard’s page on nutritional psychiatry.

By R. Ryan S Patel DO, FAPA OSU-CCS Psychiatrist

Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative only. It is advised that you check with your own physician/mental health provider before implementing any changes. With this article, the author is not rendering medical advice, nor diagnosing, prescribing, or treating any condition, or injury; and therefore claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or injury caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented.

References:

  1. Wall R, Ross RP, Fitzgerald GF, Stanton C. Fatty acids from fish: the anti-inflammatory potential of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Nutr Rev. 2010 May;68(5):280-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00287.x. PMID: 20500789.
  2. Madison, A.A., Belury, M.A., Andridge, R. et al.Omega-3 supplementation and stress reactivity of cellular aging biomarkers: an ancillary substudy of a randomized, controlled trial in midlife adults. Mol Psychiatry (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-021-01077-2
  3. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-Consumer/

Cannabis (marijuana) and suicidal ideation

A previous post discussed cannabis (marijuana) use and Memory and academic performance and symptoms of depression and anxiety from cannabis withdrawal.

This post talks about a study looking at cannabis use and suicidal ideation.

What was the study (1)?

Dr Han and colleagues looked at data from 281 650 adult participants in the 2008-2019 National Surveys of Drug Use and Health data.

What were some study results (1)?

  • Past-year Cannabis use disorder, daily cannabis use, and nondaily cannabis use were associated with a higher prevalence of past-year suicidal ideation, plan, and attempt in both sexes (eg, among individuals without Major depressive episode.)
  • The prevalence of suicidal ideation for those with vs without Cannabis use disorder was 13.9% vs 3.5% among women and 9.9% vs 3.0% among men; P < .001).
  • Suicide plan among those with Cannabis use disorder and major depressive episode was 52% higher for women [23.7%] than men [15.6%]; P < .001).

What are some caveats?

  • This is just one study and further research is needed.
  • While this study shows correlation between cannabis and suicidal ideation among those with depression, but does not show direct cause and effect.
  • Future research is needed to examine this increase in suicidality and to determine whether it is due to cannabis use or other overlapping risk factors.
  • According to this study, cannabis use can be concerning for suicidal ideation for those with and without major depressive disorder.

Additional information 

Treatment Facilities in the Columbus, Ohio area:

By R. Ryan S Patel DO, FAPA OSU-CCS Psychiatrist

Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative only. It is advised that you check with your own physician/mental health provider before implementing any changes. With this article, the author is not rendering medical advice, nor diagnosing, prescribing, or treating any condition, or injury; and therefore claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or injury caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented.

References:

  1. Han B, Compton WM, Einstein EB, Volkow ND. Associations of Suicidality Trends With Cannabis Use as a Function of Sex and Depression Status. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(6):e2113025. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.13025

Silvercloud for mental health

Nationwide, universities report a 30% increase in demand for mental health services despite only 6% increases in student enrollment (1).

To meet the increasing demand and variety of mental health concerns experienced by college students, OSU CCS offers a variety of solutions.  You can learn more about this variety on our mental health options page.

This blog post discusses an innovative service for OSU students called Silvercloud.

What is Silvercloud?

  • Silvercloud is an online, self-paced, computerized Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) based program to help you learn ways to feel better by addressing, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
  • Additional features and benefits include:
  • Self-paced so you can do it on your own at any time.
  • Modules and programs based on your needs.
  • It can be done on a variety of electronic devices.
  • It can be done on its own or in addition to other mental health services.
  • Here is a video: https://vimeo.com/502522528

What types of concerns can Silvercloud address?

  • Silvercloud has programs to help you improve Anxiety, Depression, Covid, Sleep, Resiliency, and Stress.

Does Silvercloud work?

  • There are over 40 research papers on this subject.
  • Some highlights include:
  •  60% of users showed significant reduction in depression scores, 56% showed a significant reduction in anxiety scores, and symptom reduction was maintained 3 months post follow up (2).
  • A subsequent study in  the journal Nature digital health showed improvements lasting  12 months after program completion (3).
  • 85% of users see improvement in depression and anxiety scores (3).
  • It is offered by hundreds of universities, public and private organizations, health insurance plans, even the National Health Service in the United Kingdom offers this service to their users.
  • 94% of users said they found the program helpful (3).

What are some caveats?

  • Silvercloud is not for mental health crisis, or emergencies.
  • Silvercloud does NOT replace professional mental health treatment.
  • Some students may prefer or be more appropriate for teletherapy, telepsychiatry, or in person mental health treatment, with or without Silvercloud.
  • Silvercloud is mostly based on Cognitive behavioral therapy and some students may benefit from other therapy modalities for mental health support.

How can I access Silvercloud?

To get started,

  1. Create a SilverCloud Account: https://osu.silvercloudhealth.com/signup/
  2. Log in to your SilverCloud Account:  https://osu.silvercloudhealth.com/
  3. Download the SilverCloud app on Apple App Store or Google Play

 

By R. Ryan S Patel DO, FAPA OSU-CCS Psychiatrist

Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative only. It is advised that you check with your own physician/mental health provider before implementing any changes. With this article, the author is not rendering medical advice, nor diagnosing, prescribing, or treating any condition, or injury; and therefore claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or injury caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented.

References:

  1. https://sites.psu.edu/ccmh/fi les/2018/02/2017_CCMH_Report-1r4m88x.pdf
  2. Palacios JE, Richards D, Palmer R, Coudray C, Hofmann SG, Palmieri PA, Frazier P, Supported Internet-Delivered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Programs for Depression, Anxiety, and Stress in University Students: Open, Non-Randomised Trial of Acceptability, Effectiveness, and Satisfaction, JMIR Ment Health 2018;5(4):e11467
  3. Mental Health Research  |  SilverCloud Health