fish oil depression

Did You Know?

Omega 3 fatty acid supplements are another good way to increase Omega 3 intake.


Fish Oil Depression

In 1999, a group of clinically depressed patients were given either fish oil supplements or olive oil capsules. Those given the fish oil supplements found their moods were greatly improved. From this study, researchers realized that the Omega 3 fatty acids may help more than the heart, Omega 3 fatty acids also help the brain.

Omega 3 fatty acids are rich in EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docusahexaenoic acid). These acids help cells grow or repair damage. Their ability to help with cellular damage is what makes Omega 3 so beneficial. With depression, researchers believe that part of the problem is an imbalance of brain chemicals that travel throughout the brain. If the cells are healthy, often the brain is able to regulate the chemicals without issue. For those with problems, Omega 3 is important!

The Sagduyu Study

The amount of fish oil that is needed to help cure depression is not certain. A number of studies have been completed with differing results. In 2005, the Sagduyu and Osher studies were done. With the Sagduyu study, it was found that one or two grams of fish oil every day made bipolar patients calmer and less susceptible to temper flare ups. In the Osher study, doses of one or two grams were given and eight out of ten patients seemed to have an improved mood.

Fish Oil Supplements have Proven Beneficial for Depression

In 2002's Nemets or Peet studies, depression was studied. In the Nemets study, two grams of fish oil high in EPA was given. By the third week, all patients were feeling drastically better. In the Peet study, they divided groups up so that patients were given either one, two, or four grams per day. The one gram group found their depression symptoms were drastically improved, those given two grams noticed no effect. Those given four grams felt marginally better. This has helped to demonstrate that an average dose may be the best way to go.

It appeared from a number of other studies that high doses were not needed. Usually, improvement took three to eight weeks and one gram per day was the most effective dose. This is the same dose that seemed effective in heart health studies.

Normally, Omega 3 fatty acids are found in the fatty tissue around cold water fish species stomachs. In the past few years however, the strong link between these fish and mercury poisoning has prevented many people from feeling comfortable eating fish. Even the governments in many countries are telling people to limit their intake of fish to no more than two servings per week. Fish oil supplements are filtered of all toxins ensuring their safety. For this reason, doctors are far more comfortable recommending their patients take one gram of fish oil supplements (usually three pills) every day. When taking with meals, the fishy aftertaste will not be present in burps.

Anyone with symptoms of depression should see a doctor, but in the meantime, fish oil supplements have proven beneficial for many reasons from depression to heart health. Everyone should add fish oil supplements to their daily diet.