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Connection - Nutrition, Omega 3-Fatty Acids and Lowered Anxiety

The most prevalent mental illnesses in Australia are Depression, Anxiety and Substance use disorders [2]. The National Church Life Survey conducted in 2016 found that 1 in 5 (approximately 4 million), Australians experience a mental or behavioural condition.  This number had increased by 1 million people in comparison to the previous 3 years [3]. Within the adult population, anxiety disorders are the most prevalent, afflicting 1 in 7 (14.4%).  Whilst 6.9% (approximately 293,000), of children aged between 4 and 17 years, experience anxiety disorders [2].


We all feel anxious at times; it’s our body’s approach to keeping us attentive.  However, when worry or fear escalates and starts to interfere with your day-to-day life, a more serious issue may be at hand [1].

Anxiety disorders aren’t caused by a single factor, but rather by a complex combination of occurrences, which may include some of the following:

The good news is that anxiety disorders are highly treatable, however only 36.9% of Americans suffering, receive treatment. When left untreated, anxiety can make it difficult to relax, succeed at work, maintain close friendships and participate in fulfilling hobbies [4].


While there isn’t a direct cure for anxiety, there are numerous ways to manage symptoms and find more peace in your daily life. If you live with anxiety, one option, readily available to reduce your symptoms may be found in nutrition.

Science has undeniably established the fact that what you eat has a tremendous impact your mood. Nutritional deficiencies, a common outcome identified with the consumption of a typical modern day western diet, consisting of highly processed foods, increased sugars, grains and trans fats, provokes and intensifies mental health disorders, while a nutritionally balanced whole food diet, higher in nourishing fats, fresh fruit and vegetables, and proteins, may help to moderate and even diminish symptoms [5].

There are particular minerals and vitamins, bioavailable to the body through the consumption of whole foods, that are considered to have exceptionally optimistic effects on anxiety [5]. Many if these vitamins and minerals are also available as a supplement and in specific circumstances supplemental form may be preferable.

When used in conjunction with other lifestyle changes and/or therapies the following list of supplements and vitamins may be of benefit
; GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid), Passionflower, Valerian Root, Licorice Root, Ashwaghanda, Rhodiola, Probiotics, B Vitamins, L-Theanine, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Our focus for this article) [5].


Omega-3 fatty acids belong to the polyunsaturated family of fats.  They are essential fatty acids, meaning that the body is unable to make them, therefore they must be consumed.  There are 3 types of Omega-3s; alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is the precursor to, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). 

Omega-3 fatty acids are required for normal health, especially for brain development and function [7].      They are essential in conjunction with phospholipids (high levels of phospholipids are found in Zinzino Balance Oil) in the formation of cell membranes. High levels of DHA, in particular are found  in the retina, brain, and sperm.  Omega-3s also provide energy for the body and are used to form eicosanoids (signalling molecules within the cardiovascular, pulmonary, immune and endocrine systems) [8].


Omega-6 fatty acid, another polyunsaturated fat, is beneficial to the body, by lowering LDL cholesterol and raising the protective HDL, and helping to moderate blood sugar by improving the body’s sensitivity to insulin.  However, the reputation of omega-6 is not quite as favourable as the omega-3s [10].  The predominant dilemma facing omega-6 fats is the overconsumption due to our typical standard western diet, in comparison to the often, inadequate intake of omega-3 fats.  The typical western diet contains an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of about 20:1 [11].  The problem lies in the conversion of linolenic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) into arachidonic acid, which is a building block for molecules that may promote inflammation, blood clotting, and the constriction of blood vessels [10].  A recommended ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 would be 3:1 or less.  Therefore, it is imperative for preventative wellness, and for the management and possibly withdrawal of disease, to increase omega-3 intake whilst decreasing omega-6.

So, what do omega-3 fatty acids have to do with anxiety?  Although limited, recent studies have revealed that fatty acid profile may be associated with psychological disorders. One such case-control study conducted in 2020, on 45 female students with varying degrees of stress and anxiety, showed that DHA was significantly lower in those suffering most, and that higher levels of hydrogenated fats (prevalent in the western diet and linked to omega-6 fats), were associated with stress and anxiety.  Conclusions may be drawn that trans-fatty acids are related to increased stress and anxiety, and DHA could possibly decrease the risk [9].

Another paper written in 2018, reviewing the current state of research identifying the mechanisms underlying the relationship between anxiety reduction and omega-3, identifies that omega-3 fatty acids play a role in:

Inflammatory response

Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)


Too much cortisol in your bloodstream on an ongoing basis causes and/or exacerbates anxiety [14].

Anxiety is prevalent, costly, and associated with significant adverse outcomes. The importance of nutrition is underestimated in the management of mental health disorders. In particular, omega-3 fatty acids are a critical component for healthy development and have been shown to reduce anxiety symptoms [12].  The benefits of consuming omega-3 fatty acids, upon the prevention and symptomatic reduction of anxiety, are increasingly documented.  Finding the best sources (Zinzino Omega-3 Balance Oil), through quality, bioavailable supplementation in conjunction with a real food diet is actually quite simple.

Alpha linolenic-acid - is a plant-based omega-3. 
Healthy sources of ALA include, flaxseed (one of the richest sources), wheat germ, organic non-GMO soybeans, nuts such as butternuts and walnuts, chia seeds [8], and in red and black currant seeds [6].  A diet full of these beautiful foods in conjunction with the Vegan Zinzino Omega-3 Oil will support healthy Omega 6:3 ratio...which equals less infalmmation and improved overall wellness.

Sources of DHA and EPA include fish, fish oils, and krill oils [8]. The omega-3 content of fish varies widely. Wild-caught, cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines, contain the highest amounts of omega-3s [8].  Other considerations aimed at improving the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio include consuming grass-fed animal products and minimising omega-6 fatty acids by; using good quality cooking oils, limiting processed foods, reading food labels, avoiding commercially produced dressing, margarine,  mayonnaise and spreads, and avoiding deep-fried foods [11].  Plus - Don't forget to include the Zinzino Omega-3 Balance Oil into your diet and your family's food budget, after all it is made from real food, and essential for everybody's body and brain. 

It makes most sense, from a nutritional point of view, to meet your omega-3 requirements through real whole food, however, testing has shown that 97% of people are actually not getting the right balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6.  The recommended ratio for balanced health is a ratio of 3:1, that is 3 parts Omega-6 to 1 part Omega- 3.  The average ratio of those taking an Omega-3 supplement still sits at 7:1.  Plus, for the majority of the population out there who are not eating wild-caught fish 4 to 5 times a week, and not taking an Omega-3 supplement, the ratio typically starts at 15:1 and goes upwards to 120:1!  It is little wonder that we are seeing such the rapid increase in chronic disease and an ageing population who may be living longer, however their quality of life is declining... with mental health related issues skyrocketing!

This is where a top quality Omega-3 supplement is recommended for most children and adults.  It is one huge step in most people's wellness journey to start re-balancing the body from a cellular level.    The most popular are omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish oil, however there are also plant-based DHA and EPA supplements extracted from algae.  I highly recommend the Zinzino brand for it's pure, clean ethical sourcing of ingredients and natural extraction methods.  Plus, rigorous testing has shown it delivers results well above other brands due to its enhanced bioavailability.  

Remember, that with a few simple lifestyle changes in conjunction with a nutritionally balanced diet containing beautiful, rich and pure sources of omega-3 fatty acids, anxiety is manageable.

Have you seen our New Product Launch Super Special - Zinzino Omega-3 Balance Oil 
For the month of September (2023) only Radiate Wellness have a HUGE DISCOUNT PACKAGE for you -  Click HERE to find out more.


 1. (2020.  Anxiety.

 2.     Australian Government: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2020).  Mental Health Services in Australia.

 3.     Australian Institute of Family Counselling (2016).  Are You Equipped?  The Current State of Mental Health in the Church Community.

 4.     Anxiety and Depression Association of America.  Facts and Statistics.,of%20those%20suffering%20receive%20treatment.

 5.     Hull, M. The Recovery Village.  10 Vitamins for Anxiety (2020).

 6.     Golden Valley Flax (2019).  Food Sources of Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA).,red%20and%20black%20currant%20seeds.

 7.     Blondeau, N., Lipsky, R. H., Bourourou, M., Duncan, M. W., Gorelick, P. B., Marini, A. M. (2015).  Alpha-Linolenic Acid: An Omega-3 Fatty Acid with Neuroprotective Properties—Ready for Use in the Stroke Clinic?  Biomed research International.  2015; 2015: 519830  DOI: 10.1155/2015/519830

 8.     National Institute of Health (2019).  Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

 9.     Hashemi, S., Amani, R., Cheraghian, B., Neamatpour, S. (2020).  Iran Journal of Psychology.  Stress and Anxiety Levels Are Associated with Erythrocyte Fatty Acids Content in Young Women.

2020 Jan;15(1):47-54.

 10.  Harvard Health Publishing.  Harvard Health Medical School. No Need to Avoid Healthy Omega-6 Fats.

 11.  The Samter’s Society.  The Low Omega 6 Diet for AERD (Samter's Triad).,just%20supplementing%20with%20omega%203.

 12.  Polokowski, A. R., Shakil, H., Carmichael, C. L., Reigada, L. C.  (2020).  Omega-3 fatty acids and anxiety: A systematic review of the possible mechanisms at play.  Nutritional Neuroscience 2020 Jul;23(7):494-504.  DOI: 10.1080/1028415X.2018.1525092. Epub 2018 Sep 28.

 13.  Bathina, S. and Das, U. N. (2015). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and its clinical implications.  Arch Med Science.  2015 Dec 10; 11(6): 1164–1178.  Published online 2015 Dec 11. DOI: 10.5114/aoms.2015.56342

 14.  Walen, A.  Lower Your Cortisol Levels, Reduce Your Anxiety.  The Body Image Therapy Centre (2020).,lower%20your%20overall%20cortisol%20levels.

 15.  Suliman, S., Hemmings,. S. M. J., Seedat, S. (2013). Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) protein levels in anxiety disorders: systematic review and meta-regression analysis.  Fron. Integr. Neurosci., 29 July 2013 |

 16.  Felger, J. C.  Imaging the Role of Inflammation in Mood and Anxiety-related Disorders.  Curr Neuropharmacol.  2018 Jun; 16(5): 533–558.Published online 2018 Jun. DOI: 10.2174/1570159X15666171123201142