Target: United States Department of Defense
Goal: Continue research to benefit veteran health and safety
A new study funded by the Department of Defense plans to look at the healing effects of omega-3 fatty acids on soldiers at risk of committing suicide. A total number of 350 volunteer participants are to be recruited over the next few weeks from the Charleston VA center and among the local veteran population. Additionally, funds will come from the Military Operational Medicine Joint Program Committee and managed by the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command’s Congressional Directed Medical Research Programs Office.
During the study, half of the recruited veterans will be asked to drink about 4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids every day. This will put their blood level’s concentration of omega-3s on par with fish-eating cultures like Japan and Iceland. The other group will receive placebos, however, all will continue with the same and equal level of mental health care services as before. Meanwhile, investigators (not made aware of which group each individual belongs) will monitor anxiety, stress and depression levels of all participants.
Based on similar studies focusing on animals and humans in the past, researchers believe that higher levels of omega-3 concentration have a positive effect on mood, thoughts and behaviors. Joseph Hibbeln, acting chief of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA)’s nutritional neurosciences section, believes that omega-3s may be a key asset in assisting the military’s most at-risk personnel.
With the amount of military members currently struggling with depression and anxiety, this study is seen as hope for past and current members as well as their families. With the numbers of returning personnel continuing to grow, research such as this must be fully encouraged and supported. Sign the petition below to encourage research into veteran health and safety.
Dear Members of the U.S. Department of Defense,
Astonishingly high rates of anxiety, depression and suicidal tendencies have plagued veterans returning home and back to their “normal” routines. With suicides increasing among this group, it has become an even more pressing matter of attention that cannot be ignored or handled lightly. Research into how to reduce this trend is not only vital to these members of the military, but also to their families and loved ones.
Because of this, it is uplifting to see studies commissioned to look into this issue. Research on the effects of omega-3s on the well-being of military members is commendable and should be encouraged. It is for this reason that I write to you—to encourage the Department of Defense to continue its research that would benefit the safety and health of past, present and future military personnel. Thank you.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: United States Department of Veteran Affairs