Fish Oil Supplementation Reduces Cortisol Levels in Abstinent Alcoholics
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving male alcoholics undergoing a residential rehabilitation program, 3 weeks of supplementation with fish oil (providing 60 mg/d EPA and 252 mg/d DHA) was found to be associated with a reduction in cortisol basal levels throughout the day. Furthermore, the peak of cortisol response was temporally anticipated in supplemented subjects, as compared to those who received a placebo. The authors set out to investigate the effects of fish oil supplementation on perceived stress/anxiety and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical activity. The authors conclude, "an elevated omega-3 intake may reduce distress symptoms and basal cortisol secretion in abstinent alcoholics, thus providing a valid subsidiary measure to increase the efficacy of rehabilitation programs in ethanol addicts.