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FAB Newsletter - Alleviating Stress, Anxiety and Depression through Nutrition


Date: 2021

Many recent studies have highlighted the fundamental importance of nutrition in managing stress and anxiety levels. 

In a newly published clinical trial, a high daily dose of the long-chain omega-3 found in fish oils (EPA and DHA) appeared to help slow the effects of aging by suppressing damage and boosting protection at the cellular level during and after a stressful event. 

Compared to the placebo group, participants taking a supplement providing 2.5 grams of omega-3 for 4 months showed the following benefits:

  • reduced levels of both cortisol and a pro-inflammatory protein were produced during a stressful event known to provoke inflammation (19% and 33% lower on average respectively)
  • omega-3s prevented the usual significant reductions in levels of both telomerase (an enzyme that repairs damage to DNA that accumulates with age and stress) and a protein that reduces inflammation after acute stress - allowing repair of any stress-related cellular damage. These effects were dose-related, as they were also evident at a lower dose of omega-3 (1.25g/day).
  • The supplements contributed to what the researchers call ‘stress resilience’: reduction of harm during stress and, after the acute stress, sustained anti-inflammatory activity and protection of cell components that shrink as a consequence of ageing

The lead author of the paper, Annelise Madison, highlighted that:

  • "The findings suggest that omega-3 supplementation is one relatively simple change people could make that could have a positive effect at breaking the chain between stress and negative health effects”

The researchers also suggested that by lowering stress-related inflammation, omega-3s may help disrupt the connection between repeated stress and depressive symptoms. Previous research has suggested that people with a higher inflammatory reaction to a stressor in the lab may develop more depressive symptoms over time.

For further information on the link between nutrition, stress and depression please see:

Other news and research:



A few of the FREE resources available via the FAB website:

 1.  Food Matters Live – New Insights for Lifelong Cognitive Improvements - DHA and Choline

Dr Alex Richardson presents a scientific overview of the importance of dietary choline, as well as omega-3 DHA, in early life:

  • The Benefits of DHA and Choline for Brain Development and Function

Few people appreciate the critical importance of Choline, as well as DHA, for brain health and cognition, or how to achieve optimal intakes, which is not easy. But if they did – they would do something about it”.

During pregnancy and early infancy, choline plays a key role in brain development – with potentially lifelong implications for cognitive function – not least because it helps get omega-3 DHA into the developing baby’s brain.

As this presentation also explains:

  • 9 out of 10 pregnant women consume less choline than recommended
  • Clinical trials using the recommended daily intake as placebo found that giving mothers-to-be twice that level led to significant benefits for their children’s cognitive development, both as infants, and at 7 years of age.

2.  Naturally Informed Mental Wellness - FREE virtual conference

If you’ve not watched these yet, don’t miss your chance to watch FREE On Demand content from this virtual conference held in January 2021. 

Keynote Presentations from leading scientific experts on the links between food and behaviour include:

  • Nutrition for Life: The Link between Food, Brain Development, Mental Performance & Behaviour - by Dr Alex Richardson of FAB Research
  • This is Your Brain on Food – by Professor Uma Naidoo, a Harvard psychiatrist who has studied nutrition and is also a trained professional chef
  • The Brain-Gut-Microbiota Axis and Mental Well-Being – by Professor Ted Dinan, a psychiatrist from the University of Cork team who are world-leading researchers in this area.

3.  Crime & Nourishment Podcast - Episode 1:  The Kids Aren't Alright


Presenter – Kimberley Wilson

Leading psychologist Kimberley Wilson examines the evidence that shows the beneficial effect of nutrition on childhood behavioural disorders, and the surprising and worrying link between hunger and school exclusions.


Dr Alex Richardson

Carmel McConnell

Sarah Dove

For more information on how food and diet - and many other things that we can influence - can improve mental wellbeing ad resilience, see Kimberley Wilson's excellent book:


Please help us to keep helping you, by joining FAB Research as an Associate Member if you can

FAB Associate Membership - Special Offer

FAB Associates benefit from:

• A free online consultation with the world-renowned Dr Alex Richardson
• Exclusive access to a monthly podcast, video or FAB article/blog.
• Access to exclusive FAB comments and articles via the FAB website
• Reduced prices on selected titles in the FAB bookstore
• Free or discounted places at select webinars and online workshops that FAB is currently planning
• And, you will be supporting a charity dedicated to providing accessible, evidence-based information to the public, professionals, policymakers and researchers on the importance of nutrition and diet to brain development and function.

To take up this opportunity yourself - or to give someone else you know a free appointment and other benefits - all you need to do is to join FAB Research as an Associate Member.




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Thank you so much for your support.

Best wishes

The FAB Research team