Fish Oils : A Cure for Depression?

May 24, 2011 No Comments by

Could eating more fatty fish be a simple way to help alleviate depression?

Research points to “yes.” Researchers have known for some time that rates of depression are lower in countries where lots of fish is consumed and higher in qcountries where little fish is eaten. Recently experts have noted that some people who suffer from depression have markedly low levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are normally found in high concentrations in brain.

These fatty acids are abundant in fatty fish, especially cold-water fish such as salmon, trout, and mackerel. Low fish consumption and low levels of a potent form of an omega-3 fatty acid called DHA have both been linked with higher rates of postpartum depression.

Recently, a flurry of research studies has supported the notion that consuming more omega-3 fatty acids can work as a depression treatment. When researchers fed omega-3 fatty acids to piglets, the fatty acids had the same effect as the antidepressant Prozac—that is they significantly increased levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. New studies in people have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can help symptoms of depression as well as bipolar disorder.

More research is needed, but meanwhile, there’s no harm in adding more fish to your diet. For people who don’t like fish, fish-oil supplements are available in health-food stores. Talk to your doctor before taking them, though, since they can thin the blood. Flaxseeds and flaxseed oils are other sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Health And Nutrition
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