Everybody knows that omega-3 fatty acids are an essential part of the human diet, even though the information has only come to light within the past couple of decades. These unsaturated fats are best known for their ability to reduce the risk and occurrence of coronary heart disease by lowering heart rate, blood pressure, and triglycerides, amongst other things. But because omega-3 also forms an integral portion of our cell membranes, it has been linked to other health benefits such as improved immune function, and reduced risk for inflammation and cancer. Additionally, it may have the potential to decrease the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms, although at this point further testing is still required. In short, omega-3 is fantastic for your health. But did you know that it can do even more? If you’re a woman suffering from menopause, omega-3 could play a role in reducing your symptoms and helping you to get through this life change with less stress.
In particular, some doctors now believe that omega-3 fatty acids could help women suffering from depression (as a side effect of menopause). A study conducted by Dr. Michel Lucas for Université Laval in Quebec, Canada set out to prove just that. The research began with 120 women, age 40-55, and divided them into two groups. Each group of women then undertook a regimen that consisted of ingesting three capsules a day for a period of eight weeks. The first group was given a total of 1 gram of omega-3 each day while the second group received the control substance (capsules containing only sunflower oil). At the completion of the trial, women from the first group reported a noticeable improvement in their physical and psychological condition.
The women who received omega-3 capsules noted that they were less distressed and depressed, and that their occurrence of hot flashes decreased by nearly half (consistent with taking a combination of hormone therapy and antidepressants). The women in the control group noted mild improvements in the area of hot flashes, but not depression. Unfortunately, the small number of women in the study who suffered from acute depression (whether in the test group or the control group) reported no significant relief from their suffering on any level.
While further testing will probably be necessary to fully appreciate the significance of these findings, as well as to fine tune the dosage for optimal results, it appears that there is yet another way for women going through menopause to treat their symptoms. Many women opt for hormones and antidepressants as a way to cope with some of the many symptoms that can occur as a result of menopause, but these chemical and hormonal solutions may come with their own potential risks (certain cancers among them).
For those who wish to treat their symptoms in a natural way, there are several avenues to explore, and omega-3 is just one that may help. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should go out and load up on fish-oil tablets, but consider that a daily dose may offer quite a few other health benefits, so adding it to your regimen probably couldn’t hurt. And if omega-3 helps you to overcome some of the side effects of going through the change, then so much the better.
Sarah Danielson writes for Adiamor Engagement Rings, where you can find loose diamonds, engagement ring settings, and other fine diamond jewelry at affordable prices.