Fish Oil for Depression Treatment and Relief

What are the benefits of using fish oil for depression treatment or relief?

Fish and fish oil are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fatty acids and help the proper functioning of the brain. They also help to elevate low and depressed moods.

The omega 3 fatty acids contained in fish oil include EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). When EPA levels are low, people are found to be more likely to experience depression. Since fish oil contains copious amounts of DHA and EPA, it can be very effective to use fish oil for depression treatment.

Studies indicate that nearly 30% of the human brain is made of DHA, and if there is a drop in DHA levels, brain function will certainly will be affected. Of course, one easy way to maintain healthy DHA levels is through the consumption of fish oil.

Since omega-3 fatty acids are not manufactured by the human body, it is important to obtain them through diet and / or supplements. Fish and fish oil are considered to be among the best food sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, a balanced diet containing fish oil and fish like tuna, mackerel, sardines, salmon, and halibut are considered to provide adequate omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help nerve cells communicate effectively and efficiently, thus improving brain function, memory, and moods.

Studies have also established that the omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil help to increase levels of serotonin, a very important neurotransmitter in the brain. When there is a drop in serotonin levels, depression could result. By providing good amounts of the omega 3's DHA and EPA, the use of fish oil for depression thus helps to elevate moods and reduce depressive symptoms.

Of course, the use of fish oil for depression relief would not be possible for vegetarians and vegans. For people following a vegetarian diet, flaxseeds, soybeans, walnuts, and especially flaxseed oil are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, too. Including these foods in the diet on a regular basis will help make up for the deficiency, if it exists.

On a related note, it has been noticed that increased consumption of nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine could decrease the levels of fatty acids in the human body, further contributing to depression and related symptoms; therefore, it is important to not only increase one's intake of omega-3, but also to reduce consumption of omega-3 reducing products like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.

Information regarding clinical trials conducted on fish oil and depression can be found via the following links.

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