Omega 3 Can Help Lift the Blues
The cloud of depression can strike anyone to varying degrees, and it is estimated that 19 million American adults suffer from major depression-a mood disorder characterized by sadness and a lack of interest in anything they may have enjoyed once. Usually, when a doctor or psychiatrist diagnoses someone with depression it is followed by some prescription for an antidepressant or a mood stabilizer and maybe some therapy is offered. However, a natural alternative may also be effective as some positive results are being seen with introducing omega 3 supplements, reducing some of the symptoms of depression.
In fact, three study results published in 2009, conducted at the Beer Sheva Mental Health Center, showed highly significant benefits of using omega 3 fatty acid supplements among certain groups: adults diagnosed with major depression, children with major depression and adults with bi-polar depression. It is believed that omega 3s make it easier for serotonin, a chemical neurotransmitter linked to mood balance, to pass through brain cell membranes. There is a marked increase in serotonin levels correlated to higher omega 3 levels, which means that there is some biological evidence to support that taking higher omega 3s will result in higher serotonin levels, which could help stabilize mood and reduce symptoms of depression.
There are environmental indicators that also point to the benefits of omega 3s in reducing depressive symptoms. In global regions where fish consumption is high, there are lower reported rates of depression. Also, an argument has been made that because American’s have a reduced consumption of not only fish but other animal fats, specifically red meat and eggs, due to the low-fat diet craze, omega 3 levels have dropped in the overall population. This could be a reason why a diagnoses of depression are on the rise in this country. As the evidence mounts to show the importance of omega 3 fatty acids and brain health, it’s even more important to include a fish oil supplement in your diet.
An easy solution to addressing symptoms of depression could be to simply take daily omega 3 supplements and to increase the consumption of foods that contain high levels of omega 3s such as eating oily fish (e.g. salmon, tuna, anchovies, sardines, smelts, mackerel, etc.), red meat and eggs. For vegans, there are plant-based omega 3 supplements that are derived from sea algae and sea vegetables as well.