Omega-3s are not useful against depression

Despite their growing popularity, there is no evidence that omega-3 fatty acids alone can affect mood or fight depression. Evidence of their efficacy against depression, when taken in combination with antidepressants, is also terribly weak.

Despite their growing popularity, there is no evidence that omega-3 fatty acids alone can affect mood or fight depression. Evidence of their efficacy against depression, when taken in combination with antidepressants, is also terribly weak.

Omega-3s are fatty acids deemed “essential” because our bodies are unable to produce them and must therefore get them from food sources. Although we know they are beneficial to the cardiovascular system, many people also suggest they affect one’s mood. People with this view rely on a few studies that suggested an association between low concentrations of omega-3s in the body and mood disorders, including depression. Oily fish, nuts, seeds and leafy green vegetables are the principal sources of omega-3s, but you can also get them in dietary supplements.

The authors of a recent study analyzed published clinical trials on the efficacy of omega-3s for people suffering from depression. They concluded that omega-3s have little or no effect on depression.

They also noted that omega-3 dietary supplements, particularly those made with fish livers, can contain environmental toxins potentially harmful to the human body. This means we must not exceed the recommended doses for fish liver oil supplements. Pregnant women should also limit their intake to very low doses as these supplements contain high levels of vitamin A, which can harm developing foetuses.

To reap the most benefit from omega-3 fatty acids, you should get them directly from food sources. Hence, it is recommended you eat oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring regularly. Consuming soy, colza and flaxseed oils, nuts and green vegetables such as spinach, watercress and cabbage will also increase your intake of omega-3s.

But do not forget that sharing good food with good friends is always a sure way to boost your morale! Bon appetit!

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