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Can Omega-3 Supplements Help Reduce Depression

By on January 24, 2018 in News with 0 Comments

Omega 3 Depression

The National Institute For Mental Health estimated that in 2012, some 16 million Americans experienced at least one major bout of depression. Worldwide, it is estimated that close to 400 million people suffer from depression (that’s a whopping 5% of the entire world population). If you, or someone you know, suffers from depression, then you are probably familiar with the common methods for treating it. For those who do not know, the common methods for treating depression include therapy, which is usually supplemented with clinical anti-depressants. For some, this is an effective treatment method. For others, it is ineffective, and it ends up being a massive waste of both time and money. Those of you suffering from depression may be interested to know that there is another option out there, omega-3 supplements. In this article, you will find out how omega-3 supplements can help you or a loved one fight back against depression.

What are Omega-3s

Omega-3s (technically, the correct name is omega-3 fatty acids, but for brevity’s sake this article will use the term omega-3s) are essentially acids found in a variety of foods that help your body to do various tasks. For example, omega-3s help your body’s metabolism to function properly. In terms of broader health effects, omega-3s can help reduce your risk of getting cancer, reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular disease, and reduce inflammation.

Maybe most interesting of all, is the fact that omega-3s can help your mental health, specifically, they can help you fight against depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder (among other things). The rest of this article will be dedicated to exploring the connection between the consumption of omega-3s and improved mood in people suffering from depression.

Omega-3s and Depression

It may sound unlikely at first, but there is a lot of scientific evidence out there to suggest that yes, omega-3s can help reduce depression. The connection between omega-3s and depression was first discovered 15 years ago in a study looking at nutritional consumption among 9 countries. The researchers found that there was a link between consumption of oily fish and decreased instances of depression. Now, as I am sure most of you are aware of the fact that oily fish are a great source of omega-3s (among other nutrients). Fish like sardines are absolutely packed with these helpful acids. Obviously, researchers could not just leave this connection unexplored, so a bunch of follow up studies have been conducted. To give a good example, take a look at this 2001 study done on adults in Finland. For a bit of background, you should know Finland has major issues with depression, and it is one of the most common mental illnesses in the entire country. This study looked at over 3,000 adults in Finland and used a series of questionnaires to determine the person’s fish consumption and if they had symptoms of depression. The results showed that those who consumed little to no fish were far more likely to have some symptoms of depression. Again, this study is not definitive, but it raises some very interesting questions.

Another study that needs to be examined, is one from 2009. This study took various adults (all over the age of 65) from a variety of places in Greece and Cyprus. They were evaluated according to the Geriatric Depression Scale. For those unaware, this scale can measure how many depressive symptoms are present in an older person. The respondents who scored the best (best, in this case, meaning those who showed the least number of depressive symptoms) shared a few things in common. As you can probably guess, one of those things is high fish consumption.

We could keep going with study after study, but by now you probably get the point. It is, however, a very interesting topic. If you are interested in exploring more on the issue, you can look at this Mayo Clinic article, which details a lot of the arguments we have already talked about, but in a lot more depth.

As for why omega-3s seem to help fight depression. The science is still a bit unclear. However, most scientists seem to think that it is because omega-3s help to build and strengthen your brain. We often call fish “brain food” because it helps keep your brain healthy. Well, it makes sense that part of keeping your brain healthy involves fighting against depression, which is caused partially by an improper chemical imbalance in the brain.

Why Supplements?

Okay, so another question you may have is “why supplements?” After all, as the studies we talked about showed, oily fish are rich in omega-3s, so why can’t you just eat a lot more fish? Technically, you can do just that. However, that really does not work all that well for a few reasons. First off, oily fish can be expensive depending on where you live. Other types of food have omega-3s in them, but fish is the best source of it and, aside from supplements, are the most efficient way to get a lot of omega-3s. Another factor to consider is mercury. A lot of oily fish have mercury in them. This is because they eat a lot of smaller fish and the mercury levels build-up over time. So, if you are deciding to increase the amount of fish in your diet, then you need to start being concerned about mercury levels. Plus, mercury, in general, is just a nasty contaminant that most of us would rather avoid.

This is where supplements become useful. Omega-3 supplements do not require you to change your diet in any way. You can take as many as you like, and you do not have to worry about nasty side effects or contaminants like mercury. Plus, supplements are relatively cheap and easy to find online or in stores.


So, if depression is an issue for you, or for someone you know, then you should definitely consider taking omega-3 supplements. You do not have necessarily take them on their own either, you could easily combine omega-3s with other treatment options like therapy or medication, for extra effectiveness.

About the Author

About the Author: Hi, My name is Tom Curren and I appreciate your interest in my male supplement review site My mission is to provide well researched, unbiased, honest reviews of the top supplements on the market today. As a personal trainer I strive to assist my clients everyday, this also including recommendations for only the best supplements produced. Along with my own personal testing I also am provided with honest reviews from individuals on a daily basis who test new supplements, thus I am able to only recommend what is going to be the most effective and what you should avoid. .


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