Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. In 2001, it was stated that depression would be the second-leading cause of disability by 2020.
Hence, I thought of writing an article mainly focusing on how fish oil and fish oil supplements can help relieve you from depressive symptoms.
Current depression therapies center is completely on the use of antidepressant medications, many of which have been available for decades. Unfortunately, despite the extensive treatments available, nearly one-third of patients remain unresponsive to any therapy.
How Fish Oil Supplements Can Help Improve Depression?
A piece of growing evidence has indicated that fish oil supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acid has been beneficial in relieving the symptoms of depression.
Through various clinical studies, many possible mechanisms have been discovered. The main mechanism for the anti-depressive effect would be their anti-inflammatory action and their function of maintaining membrane integrity and fluidity, respectively.
The research on fish oil supplements and depression began, post finding out that people who suffer from depression do have lower blood levels of EPA and DHA.
Well, that’s true! Omega – 3 fatty acids are important for normal neurotransmitter function. A neurotransmitter is an important component of emotional and physiological brain balance.
Omega fatty acids are all needed by the body. There are essential fatty acids (EFAs), meaning the body can’t make them and needs to obtain them from food sources, and non-essential fatty acids, ones the body can produce from other fats.
Essential fatty acids are the basic building blocks for the various cells in the body. They play a vital role in maintaining the integrity (or structure) of body tissues. Like vitamins and minerals, EFAs cannot be made by the body (hence the term “essential”) and must be obtained through the diet. Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are essential, while the omega 9 fatty acids are not.
The main component of omega-3 fatty acids responsible for fighting against depression or any mood disorder is eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Can we get EPA and DHA from natural sources? Yes, you can. The only trick over here would be the quantity you need to consume to achieve the desired ratio of EPA and DHA.
Now, the treatment efficacy of omega-3 supplements in depression is very much influenced by the proportion and dosage of EPA and DHA. More than 25 studies have conducted studies with the varied differences in the concentration of EPA and DHA. Some have used only EPA in the higher concentration or a combination of EPA plus DHA. The doses at which the studies are conducted varies from 0.5 to 2 to 8 grams per day.
Both types of studies showed a positive impact, but it was clear that EPA should be consumed in a higher amount as compared to DHA.
From the studies, it is clear that fish oil supplements can be taken to support your ongoing treatment, but a lot more research is required to give a go-ahead as the only treatment for improving depression or mood disorders.
We do not recommend discontinuing doctor prescribed medication, but discuss it with your doctor and try including fish oil supplement which can act as a supportive treatment. It can be helpful as an addition to prescribed medications or other treatments.
A GNC Fish Oil Supplement helps you get the right amount in a purified form, free of heavy mercury. GNC Fish oils supplements are also enteric-coated to avoid fishy burps, after all, we do not want the added stress about those!