Fish may hold key to cutting stress

FEELING stressed? Fish oil will help.

But before you shell out some clams for all the fish oil you can get your tense fingers on, you'll just have to wait and see the results of a new study by Southern Cross University into the benefits fish oil can offer in reducing stress.

SCU's Professor Stephen Myers said an earlier pilot study suggested that adding fish oil to the diet played a proactive role in relation to workplace stress.

“We are interested in finding out what particular types of fish oil confer the greatest benefit as it is possible to produce specific oil blends that are higher in their composition of specific essential fatty acids,” Prof. Myers said.

“The two major fatty acids in fish oil are EPA (ecosopentanoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). The ratio of DHA to EPA in oils can be manipulated and we will attempt to discover which ratio gives people the greatest benefit.”

Prof Myers said the study would also use an EPA-rich fish oil, which he believes will have a greater anti-inflammatory response in relation to stress.

“This is based on research showing a connection between stress and inflammatory chemicals in the brain,” he said.

SCU will work in collaboration with Swinburne University of Technology, Deakin University and Wollongong University in undertaking the study and will call for participants early next year. The study will be funded by a grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council to the sum of $135,000.

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