Can Omega-3s Fight Depression?

The fatty acids that are found in foods like fish oil and nuts are called omega-3s and are linked to improved memory and heart health. But they may also reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Omega-3s with their anti-inflammatory properties can fight coronary heart disease, cancer, and Crohn’s disease. But their superpowers don’t end just there, they help in treating depressive symptoms the same way. Several studies suggest a link between inflammation and depression. It is not for sure that inflammation causes depressive symptoms, but inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis are often accompanied by depressive disorders. If you have depression, watch out for sneaky cytokine, which is a protein that promotes inflammation.

By reducing cytokine levels, which is a reduction that may help fight depression and anxiety, fatty acids get their game on. In a study, medical students took omega-3 supplements and they produced fewer cytokines and their anxiety levels plummet. The symptoms of bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and other mood disorders can be eased by the omega-3 supplements.

Mood disorders can be prevented in the high levels of omega-3s in fish. Countries that have high fish consumption, like Taiwan and Japan, have a lower risk of depression than countries like France and Canada. Another study showed that New Zealand citizens reported better mental health by eating fish rather than those who didn’t.

But, after all, omega-3s are not superheroes. Some studies found that the omega-3 trials over-hyped the positives of the fatty acids or showed little evidence of the ability of omega-3 supplements to treat depression. At reducing such symptoms certain types of omega-3s are more effective.

If you want to load up on omega-3s you should be careful about choosing sources of the fatty acids. Expectant mothers, be careful of the fish because it is a great source of omega-3s, and do not worry about the amount of mercury in a single serving of seafood, but worry about the chemicals in the fish because it could possibly hurt the developing nervous system of the fetus. Those who don’t love seafood can feast on fatty acids in tofu, soybeans, walnuts, and canola oil. Another option is the pill-popping and dietary supplements like fish oil and flaxseed oil which could aid the anti-inflammatory properties of antidepressants.

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