"We review three studies of omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of depression that were carried out by our research group at the Beer Sheva Mental Health Center. The first study examined eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) versus placebo as an adjunct to antidepressant treatment in 20 unipolar patients with recurrent major depression. The second study used omega-3 fatty acids in childhood major depression; 28 children aged 6-12 were randomized to omega-3 fatty acids or placebo as pharmacologic monotherapy. The third study was an open-label add-on trial of EPA in bipolar depression. Twelve bipolar outpatients with depressive symptoms were treated with 1.5-2.0 g/day of EPA for up to 6 months. In the adult unipolar depression study, highly significant benefits were found by week 3 of EPA treatment compared with placebo. In the child study, an analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed highly significant effects of omega-3 on each of the three rating scales. In the bipolar depression study, 8 of the 10 patients who completed at least 1 month of follow-up achieved a 50% or greater reduction in Hamilton depression (Ham-D) scores within 1 month. No significant side effects were reported in any of the studies. Omega-3 fatty acids were shown to be more effective than placebo for depression in both adults and children in small controlled studies and in an open study of bipolar depression. (This review discusses three studies, all from our group, completed before the clinical trial registry was initiated.)"
I am having a harder time finding studies on omega-3 and anxiety.
Red cell membrane omega-3 fatty acids are decreased in nondepressed patients with social anxiety disorder.
The "phospholipid hypothesis" attributes a pathophysiologic role to the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) composition of phospholipids in depression. The aim of the present study was to determine whether the hypothesis is relevant to social anxiety disorder (SAD). The study sample consisted of 27 untreated, nondepressed patients with SAD (DSM-IV) and 22 controls. Severity of SAD was assessed with the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS). Erythrocyte PUFA concentrations were measured by gas-liquid chromatography. Concentrations of most n-3 PUFAs were lower in the patients: 18:3n-3 by 32% (p < 0.002), 20:3n-3 by 34%, 20:5n-3 by 36% (all p < 0.001) and 22:6n-3 by 18% (p = 0.002). No significant differences were observed in other fatty acids. Significant inverse correlations were obtained between levels of n-3 PUFAs and LSAS scores. In conclusion, the phospholipid hypothesis may apply to SAD, thereby opening new therapeutic options. The robust relationship between low erythrocyte n-3 PUFA concentrations and SAD justifies exploration of relevant neuropathophysiological mechanisms.
n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids decrease anxiety feelings in a population of substance abusers.
There is mounting evidence that low levels of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) play a role in the pathophysiology of a number of psychiatric disorders. Preclinical studies have shown that n-3 PUFAs decrease anxietylike behaviors, but there is a paucity of information about their effects on anxiety in humans. In light of our observation that substance abusers have poor dietary habits and the strong association between anxiety disorders and substance use disorders, the possibility that the administration of supplements of n-3 PUFAs would decrease the anxiety level of a group of substance abusers was explored. Thirteen patients were given on a daily basis capsules containing 3 g of n-3 PUFAS (eicosapentaenoic acid + docosahexaenoic acid). Eleven patients received similarly looking placebo capsules containing vegetable oil. The trial was double-blind, randomized, and lasted 3 months. A scale assessing anxiety feelings was administered at baseline and on a monthly basis thereafter. Six PUFA group patients and 8 placebo group patients were followed for an additional 3 months after treatment discontinuation and administered the same questionnaire monthly. Patients who received n-3 PUFAs for 3 months showed a progressive decline in anxiety scores. This was not the case for patients who received placebos. A comparison of the 2 groups was significant (P = 0.010). Anxiety scores remained significantly decreased in the PUFA group for 3 months after treatment discontinuation. A comparison of the 2 groups followed for 6 months was also significant (P = 0.042). In conclusion, these preliminary data indicate that n-3 PUFA supplementation could be beneficial in the treatment of some patients with anxiety disorders.
"Liver toxicity has been associated with some multi-herb preparations that include valerian. However, the contribution of valerian itself is not clear due to the potential liver toxicity of other included ingredients and the possibility of contamination with unlisted herbs."
Ive just recently begun taking VALERIAN, so I might be able to help here.
It does help to curb anxiety by gently calming the 'overexcited' anxious feeling one gets. This has been my experience and I have been taking it for 2 weeks now. It is however gentle (which is a good thing for your health),
It is very safe, no reason to fear liver toxicity, as I believe that study was done on a product that contains various other herbs.:sus One being KAVA KAVA, which is believed to be the most potent natural anti-anxiety herb for that use, but there are cases of liver toxicity due to abuse, and low quality production methods (using the wrong part of the plant), so it has to be processed right, and taken properly, to be done right. I may try this, but I have to do some more research before I take any further steps with this herb, looks very promising though.
back to Valerian, I recommend it...But it does not help depression one bit! which is very noticeable for most, simply because most with Soc. Anx. suffer from depression as well, and when you bring down the anxiety, you really notice the depression, so I suggest you take something for that as well in conjunction.
Also, you may be sleepy for the first couple days of taking it, no big deal, allow yourself to catch some extra Z's during the first week.