6

votes

Get high on Omega 3s! ...literally.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 05, 2011 at 10:50 PM

Have any of you noticed a relationship between your overall mood and your omega-3 intake?

Should we be having a legalization debate?

I'm asking because there was a sweet article titled ???Nutritional omega-3 deficiency abolishes endocannabinoid-mediated neuronal functions??? in the March edition of Nature Neuroscience. If this doesn???t motivate you to get enough polyunsaturated omega-3 fats (n-3 PUFAs) in your diet, I don???t know what will. It's yet one more example of how crucial diet is to all facets of life.

The article describes a study that compared the neurochemistry of rats with life-time diets either low or high in n-3 PUFAs. They discovered that the endocannabinoid neural function depends upon a sufficient amount of omega-3s in the diet. (Yes, that???s cannabinoid as in cannabis. The 'endo' just means that they're produced by our brains rather than from an external source. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endocannabinoid_system.) Among other things, the endocannibinoid system aids in mood control and appetite enhancement...kind of what you would expect given the name...and the omega-3 deficient rats exhibited ???impaired emotional behavior."

The authors don't say if its helps glaucoma.

From the editors: ???In this issue of Nature Neuroscience, Lafourcade et al. describe neurochemical, cellular and behavioral mechanisms by which PUFAs influence animal behaviors related to depression. Among the mechanisms described here is an interaction between PUFAs and endocannabinoid (eCB)-mediated neuronal function and plasticity.???

???It is worth noting relationships between fatty acids and inflam??mation, which has in turn been linked to depression and other neurological disorders. Nutritional influence on depression serves as an example of important behavioral consequences of diet. The widespread synaptic effects of eCB [endocannabinoid neural function] suggest that the current work has implications that extend beyond mood-related behaviors???Modulation of eCB function in these brain regions would be expected to affect a range of behaviors related to food intake, obesity and drug addiction.???

The abstract of the research article itself: ???The corollaries of the obesity epidemic that plagues developed societies are malnutrition and resulting biochemical imbalances. Low levels of essential n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) have been linked to neuropsychiatric diseases, but the underlying synaptic alterations are mostly unknown. We found that lifelong n-3 PUFAs dietary insufficiency specifically ablates long-term synaptic depression mediated by endocannabinoids in the prelimbic prefrontal cortex and accumbens. In n-3???deficient mice, presynaptic cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1 Rs) normally responding to endocannabinoids were uncoupled from their effector Gi/o proteins. Finally, the dietary-induced reduction of CB1 R functions in mood-controlling structures was associated with impaired emotional behavior. These findings identify a plausible synaptic substrate for the behavioral alterations caused by the n-3 PUFAs deficiency that is often observed in western diet.???

535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on April 12, 2011
at 11:29 PM

Great article and not surprising. Our brains are 60% fat and most of that is DHA. I know from experience Omega 3s improve mood.

C297c27e2469b23a9051cedabf02437b

(122)

on April 06, 2011
at 12:11 AM

Your right, correlation does not imply causation. Still, we are talking about the proper functioning of mood modulating chemicals extremely similar to cannabis. In some sense, being high is a matter of not being low.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on April 06, 2011
at 12:07 AM

Oh, I like that "MOTHER NATURE is my CRACK DEALER!!!!!"

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2 Answers

1
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 05, 2011
at 11:42 PM

Amen to that! Good presentation of this study.

FYI that is what being a human feels like. Mother nature is my crack dealer.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on April 06, 2011
at 12:07 AM

Oh, I like that "MOTHER NATURE is my CRACK DEALER!!!!!"

0
C2ad96801ec1e22d2bf62475b6e52751

(1416)

on April 06, 2011
at 12:00 AM

The study may be on to something, but don't assume that if Not X then Not Y necessarily means if X then Y.

C297c27e2469b23a9051cedabf02437b

(122)

on April 06, 2011
at 12:11 AM

Your right, correlation does not imply causation. Still, we are talking about the proper functioning of mood modulating chemicals extremely similar to cannabis. In some sense, being high is a matter of not being low.

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