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Fish oil and stress depression

Fish oil and stress depression

What if in the treatment of depression, doctors no longer rely on drugs to control brain chemicals, Fish oil, and stress depression but instead focus on nourishing brain chemicals?

According to the results of a new study conducted with fish oil supplements at the University of Pittsburgh, the number of college students who are depressed or need antidepressants will decrease.

Depression is a big problem among college students. Recent surveys indicate that 30% of college students feel very depressed, which hinders their ability to conduct themselves, and that 6% of college students have seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months. 

As prescription antidepressants are relatively ineffective and may have adverse effects, it is important to help these young people take proper nutrition and supplements. After all, no Prozac or other antidepressants will not make you suffer from depression, but the lack of the necessary long-chain fatty acids from fish oil may be an important cause of depression.

Fish oil

Background information:

Concentrated fish oil supplements rich in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) have revolutionized nutritional medicine. It does not contain lipid peroxides. , Heavy metals, environmental pollutants, and other harmful compounds. 

A lot of scientific evidence shows that fish oil supplements can prevent or benefit more than 60 different health problems, including depression and other brain-related diseases.

The study also claims that countries with high fish oil consumption have a lower incidence of depression.

The importance of Omega-3 fatty acids to brain function is related to their role in the phospholipid composition of nerve cell membranes. Studies have shown that EPA and DHA can affect:

  • The fluidity of brain cell membranes.
  • Synthesis of neurotransmitters.
  • The combination of neurotransmitters.
  • Signal transmission.
  • The activity of key enzymes that break down neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, epinephrine, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

When taken at the recommended dose (for example, 1000-3000 mg EPA+DHA), concentrated fish oil rich in EPA and DHA has a positive effect on patients with depression and bipolar disorder (manic depression), but these studies mainly focus on the elderly people, and usually for patients who are also taking prescription antidepressants.

New data:

To assess the effects of fish oil supplements on young people suffering from depression, the researchers conducted a double-blind study on 23 subjects (78% women) with an average age of 20. These subjects had a standard diagnostic questionnaire (Baker Depression Inventory [BDI])

score greater than 10, were confirmed to have significant depression, and were not taking antidepressants. The researchers randomly divided the subjects into placebo (corn oil) or eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid fish oil groups (1.4 g EPA+DHA). Complete the BDI before taking the supplement and on the 21st day.

The results showed that there were significant differences in depression in each group. 67% of the subjects taking fish oil no longer met the criteria for depression, while only 20% of the placebo group were no longer depressed.


These results are quite significant, indicating that low-dose fish oil supplements can quickly improve mood. Although it is effective, my recommended fish oil dose is 3000 mg EPA+DHA when used for treatment. Based on previous studies in elderly subjects, this dose will produce better efficacy.

In addition, in the past few years, I have highlighted research on nutritionally improving mood, brain health, memory, and/or preventing an age-related mental decline in several briefings. The following are the key areas: anti-inflammatory,

control blood sugar levels, provide essential components with super nutrition, and protect the brain from damage by taking antioxidants from the diet and supplements.

In terms of diet, the Mediterranean or the new Nordic diet seems very helpful. As far as supplements are concerned, there are three other main recommendations besides fish oil:

#1. Take high-quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplements to provide a variety of vitamins and minerals that are not less than the recommended dietary intake.

#2. Ingest enough vitamin D 3 (usually 2000-5000 IU per day) to increase the blood concentration to the optimal range (50-80 ng/ml).

# 3 additional intake of plant antioxidants, such as flavonoid-rich extracts such as grape seed or pine bark extract ; curcumin; ” green drink” product ; or resveratrol.


Ginty AT, Conklin SM. Short-term supplementation of acute long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may alter depression status and decrease symptomology among young adults with depression: A preliminary randomized and placebo-controlled trial. Psychiatry Res. 2015 Sep 30;229 (1-2):485-9.

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