Omega 3's Beat Depressionprint friendly version
October 20, 2009
You're probably already aware of the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids on cardiovascular health, but did you know that omega-3s are also extremely beneficial for moods and cognitive function? In fact, there's a tremendous amount of good evidence demonstrating that omega-3 fatty acids can help enhance brain function and prevent depression.
Below, we present a collection of supporting quotes and testimonials from authors and researchers in the natural health field. You'll find more of these quotes on NaturalPedia, the free online encyclopedia of natural health knowledge: www.NaturalPedia.com
Can eating more omega-3s really boost our moods? The answer, based on the available scientific and clinical evidence, seems to be a cautious yes. There are four lines of evidence supporting the role of omega-3 essential fatty acids in depression. First, there are compelling population studies linking the eating of large amounts of fish (omega-3 fatty acids) to low rates of major depression. The second line of evidence includes neurochemical studies in animals (looking at brain chemistry).
- The Omega-3 Connection: The Groundbreaking Anti-depression Diet and Brain Program by Andrew L. Stoll
The omega-3 fatty acids are important not just for health; they're important for happiness, too. The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are found in high concentrations in fatty, carnivorous fish such as herring, mackerel, tuna, and salmon. (Smaller amounts are found in other fish.) In countries where more fish is consumed, there is a lower rate of depression. Omega-3 fish oils can elevate your mood. Besides their use for depression, studies have shown that fish oil is helpful for bipolar disorder, as well.
- Supplement Your Prescription: What Your Doctor Doesn't Know About Nutrition by Hyla Cass, M.D.
Jonathan Zeuss, who has no doubt that depression is "to a very large degree, a nutritionally caused disease," touts the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. "They are absolutely crucial," he says. "There is a huge amount of evidence now linking omega-3 deficiency and depression. Around a quarter of the dry weight of our brains is made up of omega-3s and if you are deficient in them, the cells in your brain malfunction and you are much more likely to become depressed." Omega-3s are known as essential fatty acids.
- The Food-Mood Connection: Nutrition-based and Environmental Approaches to Mental Health and Physical Wellbeing by Gary Null and Amy McDonald
Dietary advice to lower cholesterol levels tends to increase the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 and decreases the level of the essential omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexanoic acid. Population-based studies in various countries and the United States have indicated that decreased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids correlates with increased rates of depression. There is a consistent association between depression and coronary artery disease. Food Allergies Depression and fatigue have been linked with food allergies for over sixty-five years.
By Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor