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17 September 2014
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Can Omega 3 reduce your stress levels?

Fish is often credited for everything from combating depression to alleviating the symptoms of arthritis. We investigate recent research that has found there are componants in oily fish, part of a group of fatty acids called Omega 3, that may improve the way we cope with stress.

"really made a difference on their stress levels"

With this in mind we searched for a group of people known for having stressful jobs who would benefit from an improvement in memory. Step forward our London cabbies - famed for suffering the consequences of irate customers if they fail to meet expectations.

We took ten London cabbies and fed them on a diet of four portions of oily fish a week for 12 weeks. They were tested before and after the 12 weeks to see what affect the increased intake of oily fish had on their stress levels and memory.

After the diet, we found that out cabbies were better able to deal with stressful situations and their visualisation-based memory had also improved significantly, something Omega 3 is believed to help with. As a group, their stress hormone as a whole was down by 22% and their anti-stress hormone up by 12%.

Since the study included only ten participants and had no control group the results are not statistically significant but may be an indication towards the benefits of Omega 3. Certainly for our cabbies three months of a fish boost really made a difference on their stress levels and heart rates.

N.B. Women thinking of getting pregnant, or who are pregnant should try and avoid fish which may conatain high levels of mercury - www.cfsan.fda.gov.

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