Dr. Aaron's Blog

Omega Fatty Acids (Fish Oils) – And Their Use In Depression

July 17, 2017 All, Bipolar disorder, Depression, Healthy Eating, Mental Health, Naturopathic Medicine, Nutrition, OCD, Personality Disorder, Vitamin Therapy by Aaron Van Gaver

Omega Fatty Acids and Depression

Consuming a lot of omega fatty acids can offer a powerful defense against depression. Omega fatty acids can also help improve mood in people who are already suffering from depression. Recently, the effect of omega fatty acids supplementation was studied in 49 patients with repeated episodes of self harm. In addition to standard psychiatric care, subjects were randomized to receive 1200 mg of EPA, with 900 mg of DHA or placebo for 12 weeks. At the end of the treatment period, the group receiving omega-3 fatty acids had a significantly greater improvement compared to placebo in depression, addiction and daily stress. In addition, other studies show that people who are still depressed, despite the use of antidepressants, may reduce the intensity of anxiety, sleep disorders, depression and sexual dysfunction when supplementing with omega fatty acids.

How Omega fatty acid Fight Depression

A new study tends to shed light on the lack of omega-3 fatty acids can exacerbate a depressed mood. Researchers studied levels in plasma of essential fatty acids and neurosteroids, which are neuroactive chemicals implicated in many neurophysical and processes diseases. The test subjects included 18 healthy men and 34 men with depression, alcoholism or both. In a group of 52 subjects, an increasingly lower level of omega-3 was associated with elevated levels of neuroactive steroids. It seems that the lack of DHA has a hormonal effect, increasing corticotropin-releasing hormone, a hormone that softens emotions. This in turn can contribute to hyperactivity in the hypothalamic pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, is an important neuroendocrine system that regulates mood, aggressiveness, and fight responses associated with anxiety.

The evidence becomes convincing enough to increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids in order to improve many aspects of brain function, including mood control and personality.

Enough epidemiological, laboratory and clinical data indicate that omega-3 fatty acids can play a role in some cases of depression. Fish oil supplement is well tolerated, and found to be without significant side effects