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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Diets Lacking Omega-3s Lead to Anxiety, Hyperactivity in Teens: Generational Omega-3 Deficiencies Have Worsening Effects Over Time

From the 29 July 2013 Science Daily article

Diets lacking omega-3 fatty acids — found in foods like wild fish, some eggs, and grass-fed livestock — can have worsened effects over consecutive generations, especially affecting teens, according to a University of Pittsburgh study.

“We found that this dietary deficiency can compromise the behavioral health of adolescents, not only because their diet is deficient but because their parents’ diet was deficient as well. This is of particular concern because adolescence is a very vulnerable time for developing psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia and addiction.”Diets lacking omega-3 fatty acids — found in foods like wild fish, eggs, and grass-fed livestock — can have worsened effects over consecutive generations, especially affecting teens, according to a University of Pittsburgh study.

“Our study shows that, while the omega-3 deficiency influences the behavior of both adults and adolescents, the nature of this influence is different between the age groups,” said Moghaddam. “We observed changes in areas of the brain responsible for decision making and habit formation.”

The team is now exploring epigenetics as a potential cause. This is a process in which environmental events influence genetic information. Likewise, the team is exploring markers of inflammation in the brain since omega-3 deficiencies causes an increase of omega-6 fats, which are proinflammatory molecules in the brain and other tissues.

“It’s remarkable that a relatively common dietary change can have generational effects,” said Moghaddam. “It indicates that our diet does not merely affect us in the short-term but also can affect our offspring.”

 

July 30, 2013 - Posted by | Nutrition | , , , , ,

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