The Army's New Smoothies Are Supposed To Help Troops Avoid Suicide

military, defence, veterans

Photo: Sgt. Zachary Mott via US Army

The military might have a new weapon in its battle against suicide: smoothies, spiked with omega-3 fatty acids.The Associated Press reports the study, being conducted by the Veterans Administration, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), and the National Institutes of Health, on behalf of the Army, will build on previous research that proved people with low omega-3 levels face more mental disorders.

Nearly 350 servicemembers have already taken their own lives this year, a number the VA says is almost double the civilian population.

Some veterans already receiving mental health care will get smoothies high in omega-3s, while others will receive placebos. If the effect proves to be strong enough, the military may consider giving all soldiers supplements of the fatty acids to ward off depression.

“If the intervention shows effects with people who are at risk, we then back it out a step and say here we have a minimal side-effect, inexpensive intervention that helps people with risk factors,” Ron Acierno, a co-investigator at MUSC and Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Administration Medical centre, told the AP. “Does it help everybody?”

Aside from its potential in suicide prevention, omega-3 fatty acids are supposed to be nutritional powerhouses, helping to control heart problems, arthritis, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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