We’ve been singing the praises of fish oil for years now. That’s because fish oil provides certain fats that are sorely lacking in the average diet: the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. In fact, if you’re not going out of your way to get omega-3 fatty acids, you are almost certainly not getting enough.
Our bodies synthesize about one trillion new cells every day. Each cell requires the right kinds of fats for its cell membrane. If you aren’t getting enough omega-3s in your diet, you are creating malfunctioning cell membranes and hence malfunctioning cells. Over time, this will have disastrous effects, especially in the brain (which is mostly fat) and nervous system. Now it seems that fish oil may take some of the pain out of nicotine withdrawal.
Israeli researchers asked 48 smokers who were not trying to quit to take capsules containing 2,710 milligrams of EPA and 2,040 milligrams of DHA daily or a placebo for one month.
At the end of the month, nicotine cravings were down substantially among those who took the EPA/DHA, and this group had spontaneously reduced their cigarette consumption by an average of 11%. There were no changes in the placebo group.
One more evaluation of the EPA/DHA group a month after they had stopped taking their capsules showed that although nicotine cravings had edged up, cravings were still lower than they had been at the beginning of the study.
Why would fish oil reduce nicotine cravings?
Like other addictive substances, nicotine initially elevates the feel-good chemical dopamine and then suppresses it, causing withdrawal symptoms and cravings for nicotine. One way dopamine levels get suppressed when you smoke is that toxins in cigarette smoke poison and deplete EPA and DHA, which are necessary to make healthy membranes on nerve cells. These impaired membranes don’t transmit messages correctly, including messages involving dopamine activation.
It’s been estimated that 90% of Americans are deficient in omega 3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA. Since smoking depletes them, we can assume that just about all smokers are deficient in EPA and DHA, and that supplementing with these fatty acids will not only alleviate cravings but support healthy cell membrane function throughout their bodies.
Omega-3 deficiency has been linked with a diminished ability to cope with stress and with increases in anxiety, depression, hostility and aggression. In a study on medical students, EPA/DHA lowered anxiety 20%.
The daily amount of EPA/DHA used in the Israeli study (which was well tolerated and produced no side effects) is equal to about 8 of our Fish Oil Formula capsules, a good amount for addressing deficiency.
Always include vitamin E in your supplement program to prevent oils from oxidizing (becoming rancid) in your body.
And be careful to choose a high-quality fish oil! Many fish oil supplements today are too rancid and/or toxic to be beneficial. Our fish oil is distilled of toxic impurities and carefully handled and nitrogen packed to protect fragile oils from oxidation (rancidity). Choose Beyond Health Fish Oil Formula to insure safety and effectiveness.
- For a full explanation of how to get the right balance of essential fatty acids in your diet, see Francis R. The Oil Crisis.Beyondhealth.com
- Rabinovitz S. Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on tobacco craving in cigarette smokers: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study. Journal of Psychopharmacology. August 2014;28(8):804-809.