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Fish oil latest weapon against depression

Something’s fishy–and that’s a good thing
Antidepressants often seem to fall into the “cure is worse than the disease” category. But what are you to do when you’re suffering from a serious illness and it looks like they’re your only option? Well, nature is offering up one possible solution — and it’s a supplement we already know and love.

I couldn’t even tell you how many people I’ve known over the years who have struggled with depression.

But what I can tell you is that they all say the very same thing — that the “cure” is almost worse than the illness.

Some have had serious problems with Big Pharma’s drugs for depression. Even those who haven’t have all said they just don’t feel like themselves anymore — they feel like they’ve become completely different people, people they don’t like.

But what are you to do? Depression is a serious illness, one that can’t go ignored.

Late last month, I wrote about research showing that low levels of vitamin B are linked to depression, and that getting more B vitamins could be one way of combating the illness (“Feeling Low? Get your B,” 6/30/2010 ).

Today, there’s more good news to share. And this supplement is probably one you’re already taking, because there’s plenty of research showing it fights everything from arthritis to “sticky” blood.

I’m talking about fish oil.

In a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, researchers put the oil to the test with a group of 432 patients suffering from moderate (or worse) depression. And the results were pretty promising. After eight weeks, patients had improved significantly.

Some patients were already taking antidepressants, but others weren’t — and there wasn’t any difference in the effects of fish oil on those groups. There was one catch though — the fish oil only seemed to help those patients who weren’t also suffering from an anxiety disorder.

It’s all about the omega-3 fatty acids in the oil. Previous research has shown that these acids might be involved in the function of brain chemicals linked to depression. The researchers tested a fish-oil supplement containing 1,050 milligrams per day of EPA and 150 milligrams per day of DHA. This ratio seems to be key in achieving the results seen in the study.

The next step, say researchers, is to compare fish oil to antidepressants. In the meantime, though, I’ll certainly be sharing the results of this study with friends who need the good news.

Source:

“Depressed? Fish oil might help,” Reuters (www.reuters.com)