Several studies are now indicating that fish oil can alleviate depression. These studies were prompted by some very interesting observations:
Scientists first became interested when they noticed that countries with the highest fish consumption had the lowest rates of depression. They also observed that mothers in England who ate very little fish during pregnancy doubled their risk of developing postpartum depression compared to women who ate fish regularly.
More from FishOilBlog.com: Pregnancy & Fish Oil: A Mother’s Guide
They then found that it did the same thing that Prozac did — Watch out, Eli Lilly!
Researchers found that omega-3 fatty acids, when fed to piglets, had the same effect on the brain as the antidepressant Prozac: They raised levels of a critical neurotransmitter, serotonin.
“After only 18 days, those animals that were fed the enriched formula had double the level of serotonin in their frontal cortex, in the part of the brain that regulates depression and impulsivity,” said Dr. Joseph Hibbeln, a senior clinical investigator at the National Institutes of Health.
Double the serotonin in only 18 days?! That’s pretty amazing if you ask me. Another study further supports these findings:
At Sheffield University in England, Dr. Malcolm Peet gave omega-3 fatty acids to 70 depressed patients who had not been helped by drugs such as Prozac. After 12 weeks, 69 percent of the patients showed marked improvement compared with 25 percent given placebos.
The researchers then recommend 1 gram a day of omega-3 fish oil. 1 gram?! What are they thinking? Maybe they should read Dr. Sears’ book, Anti-Inflammation Zone. I noted in my previous post that a study found that higher doses of fish oil were needed to produce clinical benefits.