A new study has found that teenagers who don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diets may be more likely to be anxious, stressed out, and hyperactive. What’s more, the lack of omega-3s in the teens’ parents also indicated which adolescents were more anxious.
The study, reported in Biological Psychiatry, involved testing teen and adult rats on behavioral tasks and measuring omega-3 levels to spot deficiencies. The teens who were deficient in omega-3s had slowed rates of learning, more difficulty solving problems, and were more anxious. The affected brain areas were those involved in decision making and habit forming.
The researchers point out that strong mental health is especially crucial in the teen years, as it is a vulnerable time to develop disorders like addiction or other kinds of mental illness. You can see the study abstract here.