It's no secret that eating fish is good for you. The omega-3
fatty acids found in abundance in cold-water fishes are well-documented
to have an association with a lowered risk for heart disease.
The best fish for dietary omega-3 include salmon, mackerel,
tuna, lake trout, and sardines. The purpose of a study in
the American Journal of Psychiatry was to determine
if a specific
omega-3 acid called "E-EPA" prevents clinical depression.
Twenty people with major depressive disorder were divided
into two equal groups and given either two grams per day of
an omega-3 supplement or a placebo, along with their current
antidepressant drug therapy. The supplement contained 96%
pure fish oil. Patients were followed for four weeks; a depression
rating scale was administered to evaluate depression.
Significant improvements from adding E-EPA to therapy were
observed by the third week of the study. Six of 10 patients
taking the fish-oil supplement noted a 50% reduction in their
depression levels, while only one of 10 patients taking the
placebo saw a similar reduction. The omega-3 supplement reduced
depressed moods, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, and
insomnia; no side effects were reported.
The authors of the study caution that they are unsure whether
E-EPA works independently as an antidepressant, or simply
amplifies the effects of antidepressant drugs. Regardless,
fish and fish oil containing omega-3 acids have numerous other
health benefits, and fish are excellent sources of protein.
Learn about additional benefits of eating healthy at http://www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/nutrition.
Nemets B, Stahl Z, Belmaker RH. Addition of omega-3 fatty
acid to maintenance medication treatment for recurrent unipolar
depressive disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry 2002:159(3),