From: NoCamels Team, NoCamels, More from this Affiliate
Published November 30, 2014 08:36 AM

The link between Omega-3 fatty acid and stopping smoking

Think you’ve tried everything to quit smoking, but just couldn’t do it? Then you’ll want to read on. According to a new study, taking omega-3 supplements reduces craving for nicotine and even reduces the number of cigarettes you smoke a day.

“The substances and medications used currently to help people reduce and quit smoking are not very effective and cause adverse effects that are not easy to cope with. The findings of this study indicated that omega-3, an inexpensive and easily available dietary supplement with almost no side effects, reduces smoking significantly,” said Dr. Sharon Rabinovitz Shenkar, head of the addictions program at the University of Haifa.

Does ending addiction come down to essential fatty acids?

Chronic exposure to smoke-derived toxins is the primary cause of lung and immune dysfunctions, as well cancer. But researchers have discovered that cigarette smoking is connected not only to cardiovascular problems, immune system dysfunction and cancer, it also reduces the levels of essential fatty acids in the brain, especially that of omega-3. What science also learned is that a deficiency in omega-3 interrupts areas of the brain involved with feeling pleasure and satisfaction. These areas are essential in reward and decision-making, and are very important in the development and relapse of the addiction and to the inability to stop smoking.

In other words, omega-3 deficiency makes it harder for the smoker’s body to deal with its craving for another cigarette.

“Earlier studies have proven that an imbalance in omega-3 is also related to mental health, depression and the ability to cope with pressure and stress. Pressure and stress, in turn, are associated with the urge to smoke. It is also known that stress and tension levels rise among people who quit smoking. Despite all this, the connection between all these factors had not been studied until now,” Dr. Rabinovitz Shenkar said.

Fish oil capsule image via Shutterstock.

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