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Omega-3 Could Help Beat Major Depression

The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil can help treat mild to moderate depression, and now a study from Canada suggests that these essential fatty acids might also help people suffering from major depression. Researchers at the University of Montreal and other participating medical centers in Canada recruited 432 men and women suffering from unipolar depression for a randomized, double-blind study testing omega-3 supplements against a placebo. Many of the patients had complex and difficult to treat depression, and many hadn’t responded to earlier treatment with prescribed antidepressants. After eight weeks, the investigators saw a "clear benefit" in patients who suffered from depression alone, but not in those who also had anxiety disorders. The investigators noted that the improvements were comparable to those generally seen with conventional anti-depressant treatment and concluded that additional research will be needed to test omega-3s head to head against antidepressants. The daily doses used in the study were 1,050 mg of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and 150 mg of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

My take? A number of studies have suggested that a deficit of omega-3s may predispose to depression. I recommend two to threegrams of fish oil a day, providing both EPA and DHA in a ratio of about three or four to one for mild to moderate depression along with other approaches including regular exercise, at least 30 minutes five days a week. Exercise is the most effective treatment I know for mild to moderate depression. Results of the study on the effectiveness of fish oil for patients with major depression appear promising. I look forward to future studies comparing this treatment with pharmaceutical anti-depressants.

Here's what I have to say about omega-3s for vegetarians and vegans.

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Reader Comments (4)

this very nice to see omega 3 is related to depression management and all ! never know before and i would like to ask you are there more things like this ? which can control depression?

July 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhealth tips

i've heard a combination of Omega 3-6-9 recommended for anxiety and depression. is this true?

July 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteranna

As a Nurse Practitioner, I advise all my patients to take fish oil daily for the omega-3s...and with the Triclycerides start moving above acceptable levels - they get moved to AT LEAST 2 great...(several good swallows of water with the capsules elimates any fear of 'fish burps').

July 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermajmlj

Ever since watching a video of Dr. Weil and Kevin Rose about nutrition I have been taking Fish Oil, and Vitamin D, and I have noticed a significant improvement in my overall mood! I have also been spending more time outdoors and I believe the sunlight is a contributing factor as well.

I have also been looking for other foods that contain Omega 3's and two awesome foods that I have found and enjoy are Source Salba, and Mum's Original hempseeds. Both of these super foods are high in omega 3's and many other essential nutrients, and I highly recommend them!

July 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGarin Kilpatrick
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