Omega-3 oil supplement may help prevent post-traumatic distress
23 January 2012
A study published in the journal Psychotherapy and
Psychosomatics suggests that omega-3 fatty acid can help prevent
the psychological consequences of a traumatic accident.
It is known that severity of depression is associated with low
levels of erythrocyte omega–3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n–3PUFAs)
and serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
Dietary n–3 PUFAs promote the maturation of neurons and
hippocampal neurogenesis in adult rats and have been found to
increase the levels of BDNF in rat. BDNF exerts various effects on
the nervous system, including neuronal outgrowth, differentiation,
synaptic connectivity as well as neuronal repair and survival during
development and in adulthood.
The findings of this study indicate that supplementation with n–3
PUFA enhances the effect of BDNF-related synaptic plasticity and
neurogenesis. This implies that n–3 PUFA-induced neurogenesis
occurring early in the transition period might, by increasing BDNF,
facilitate the clearance of fear memory and attenuate post-traumatic
Matsuoka, Y. et al. Potential Role of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic
Factor in Omega–3 Fatty Acid Supplementation to Prevent
Posttraumatic Distress after Accidental Injury: An Open-Label Pilot
Study. Psychother Psychosom 2011;80:310-312.