The health benefits of essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are well documented. They serve as the building blocks of cells and promote energy, brain function and protect the body against disease, toxins and inflammation.
Few know of the various studies conducted on the relationship between EFAs and alcoholism. In one study, researchers from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism linked the high rate of alcohol consumption with the low prevalence of EFAs in the body. They followed 4000 adults with reported alcohol problems and monitored their EFA levels and found a direct correlation between the amount of alcohol consumed and the drop of EFAs in the body. As such, heavy drinkers had far fewer EFAs than those who consumed less alcohol.
However, the main culprit of diminishing EFAs wasn’t the alcohol per se, but the food choices made by those who consume large quantities of alcohol. Many heavy drinkers and alcoholics don’t have a flair for fish or other foods rich in EFAs. If the body, particularly the brain, goes without EFAs for a long period of time it can cause developmental problems and physiological and biochemical abnormalities.
This relationship between EFAs and alcohol was taken a step further by PubMed who published an article last week that revealed EFAs can help with stress and anxiety among alcoholics in early recovery. Because EFAs help the body combat stress and anxiety, they can assist those in early recovery who would otherwise use alcohol to combat their stress. The study concluded that an elevated EFA/omega-3 intake may help reduce stress and anxiety – both heavy triggers for alcohol – therefore providing another means to increase the efficacy of alcoholism rehab programs.
Here at Synergy Group Services our alcoholism treatment program in our holistic rehab not only promotes a healthy diet, but our staff physicians conduct an entire medical evaluation upon admission to start nurturing clients bodies back to health. We do this both physically through nutrient rich meals and mentally, emotionally and spiritually through teaching behavioral tools and giving opportunities to practice using these tools in our holistic rehab that help alcoholics combat stress and anxiety.