Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fish Oil and Depression - How it Can Help

Not many people seem to know it but it has been found through many research and clinical studies that there is a strong connection between fish oil and depression. This finding was first observed by scientists who observed how countries with high daily fish consumption experienced the lowest depression rates.

In the same way, it was noticed that mothers resident of England who ate little fish during pregnancy had twice as much risk in developing post-partum depression compared to those who had regular intakes of fish. Since then, a handful of clinical studies were conducted which all agree that omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils can help in smoothing out mood swings and relieving depression. It was further found that omega 3 in fatty acids can increase the level of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter, in the brain. This is where the connection exists between omega 3 fish oil and depression.

The connection between fish oil and depression

Omega 3 fatty acids are actually polyunsaturated fats which cannot be produced by the body; they have to be taken in from food where they are derived mainly from seafood, especially fish. The two most important omega 3 fatty acids are DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).

These fatty acids can be found in the cell-membranes and in the brain, and they play an important role in nervous system functioning, especially that of the nerve cells (the neurons). They play a critical role in the growth and the maintenance of brain cells. It has been also found in many research studies that increasing omega 3 levels makes it easy for serotonin to pass through the cell membranes. In fact, it has been found that it has the same effect on the brain as antidepressant medications such as Prozac in raising the levels of this critical neurotransmitter.


DHA and EPA in fish oils help promote a general feeling of wellness, thereby elevating moods and smoothing out mood swings. Studies also prove that omega-3 can help improve symptoms of depression including sleeping problems, anxiety, decreased sexual desire, sadness, and even suicidal tendencies. Aside from its effect in your psyche, it provide you with more health benefits - from regulating blood pressure and relieving inflammation to promoting healthy weight loss.

Where to get fish oil for depression

As mentioned earlier, omega 3 fish oils can be derived from seafood. However, important essential fatty acids EPA and DHA are only found in fish. Make sure you eat sufficient amounts of fish such as mackerel and tuna in your diet. If you want to be even sure that you are taking enough amounts to reap health benefits, take some good quality fish oil supplements every day.

On the other hand, if you are suffering from serious depression that it impedes your normal mode of thinking, you should seek help from a doctor or an experienced medical practitioner. Although fish oils and supplements may be advised, you will need more intensive measures to cure your depression. Remember that supplements should not be regarded as a substitute for proper medical care.

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