Omega-3s can help fight depression

According to John Fauber, science writer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, omega-3 fatty acids such as those found in fish, walnuts, flaxseed and canola oils can be beneficial to people with mental disorders. Fauber's recently published news article (Sept. 13, 1998) cites several sources, who claim that supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids is beneficial to people with the mental disorders mentioned above. One primary source was Joseph Hibbeln, chief of the outpatients clinic at the National Institute of Health's Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Hibbeln is quick to point out the link between omega-3 fatty and mental health, which has been observed in countries which fish consumption is very high and the incidence of certain psychiatric disorders is very low. We eat grossly few omega-3 fatty acids now, Hibbeln said in a conference call from the NIH's annual seminar regarding mental disorders.
Researchers say the connection between omega-3 fatty acids and mental disorders is provocative and exciting.
In research to this point, Fauber reports there seems to be a correlation between high levels of the omega-3 fats, such as fish oil capsules, and high levels of the brain chemical serotonin, a neurotransmitter found in lower levels in people who are depressed or suicidal. Researchers have also linked omega-3 fats to reduced incidence of heart disease and cancer. In the meantime, a growing body of evidence suggests that other lifestyle activities can have profound effect on psychiatric disorders. In 1996, the surgeon general's office released a statement that claimed intermittent moderate exercise could help reduce the symptoms of depression. It is believed that exercise works in a way similar to omega-3 fats it stimulates production of serotonin.

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Updated on : 2/19/2012 6:18:52 PM
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