It is estimated that 1 in 10 adults in the United States will experience depression at some point in their life. It is a very common problem that is only beginning to be understood, and scientists are working tirelessly to find a cure.
While doctors have been shoveling out anti-depressant and anti-anxiety meds like candy, little evidence actually maps how the brain benefits from this shift in chemistry. The cause of depression is not known, so it makes it hard to trace exactly what is going “wrong in the brain”. There is a lot of evidence that these medications do work for a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean pharmaceuticals are for everyone.
Unfortunately, anti-depressants and counseling do not help all individuals. For them it can appear to be an uphill battle with no end in sight. There is a lot of research and evidence beginning to be gathered that may indicate that finding relief for major depression can be assisted by introducing omega 3’s. We decided to share some of the studies that have been released.
1) Largest Study of Omega 3’s and Depression Shows Positive Results
The largest study to look at the impact of omega-3 supplements on patients with major depression (without anxiety) showed that omega 3’s did indeed help treat depression. The study originated with Dr. François Lespérance of the Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier at the Université de Montréal (CRCHUM), head of CHUM’s Department of Psychiatry and a professor at the Université de Montréal. It included researchers from centres affiliated with the UdM’s Réseau universitaire intégré de santé (RUIS), from McGill University, Université Laval in Quebec City and Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. The study was supported by the European firm isodisnatura, the Fondation du CHUM and the CRCHUM. We tell you all of these to give you an idea of how big the study actually was, and it is significant all these institutions back up omega 3’s positive impact on depression.
2) Depressed Mice with Diet Low in Omega 3’s
A group, led by Mathieu Lafourcade of The French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Inserm) Magendie Neurocenter in France, found mice fed an omega-3 deficient diet showed lower levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), in their brains. The mice also as had higher overall levels of omega-6 which is a harmful fatty acid.
What they found was that the mice began to exhibit depressive symptom through a wide range of behavioral tests. The animals gave up on activities, exploring and tended to stay close to one wall in the cage.
3) Countries That Eat more Omega 3 Rich Fish Suffer Less from Seasonal Depression
Studies examining depression on an international scale found that some countries had a lower occurrence of depression than others. While we may assume that some of this data could be influenced by environmental factors, there was a surprising correlation between countries with lower depression rates. Countries who ate more fish per capital, like Japan (147 pounds annually) and Iceland (225 pounds annually), showed lower rates of season affective disorder.
4) Omega 3’s More Effective Than Placebos in Treating Depression
A study examining three studies that looked at the effects of placebo vs. omega 3 supplements in patients of all ages found that omega 3’s were more effective as a treatment. These studies looked at bi-polar and depressed patients in closed and open studies. There was a wide range of variables that make it seem a very complex coincidence if all of them improved with omega 3’s.
5) Depression Causes Patients to Eat Less Omega 3’s
It may seem obvious, but suffering from depression causes individual to eat less nutritious diets. These less nutritious diets are correlated with taking in a lot less omega 3’s replaced with the more harmful omega 6 fatty acid. This study found that patients who took omega 3 supplements saw a decrease in their symptoms of their depression.
Our Conclusion on Omega 3’s and Depression
This is just a small sample set of all the research out there that is looking into how omega 3’s may be able to assist with providing relief from depression and other psychological disorders. It is important to inform you that not all the research is conclusive as of yet.
If an individual is interested in trying to treat their depression with omega 3’s it is advisable to see a doctor first. Health care professionals can guide a person down the right path to make sure that they are on the road to recovery, because no one wants to be in the depressed state longer than they have to. Like any condition, everyone has different needs and requirements as they seek recovery.
- http://www.health.com/health/condition-article/0, , 20188472, 00.html