Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Fish oil ineffective with depression

Fish oil unlikely to relieve depression Reuters/Yahoo!News 2/14/07 "Despite some evidence linking depression with low levels of omega-3 fatty acids, there is currently no convincing evidence that omega-3 fatty acids alone can relieve depression...As mentioned, there was little convincing evidence that omega-3 fatty acids alone can alleviate symptoms of depression and only limited evidence to back their use as a supplement to established antidepressant drugs. In about nine studies that were reviewed, fish oil supplements were generally well tolerated; the most common side effects, "particularly with higher doses, are nausea, fishy belching and loose stools," "

Disappointing but not exactly surprising since after a decade of use there hasn't been any great cry of celebration in the depression community. If it had been quite effective I'd have expected to hear far more. Still, for heart and joint benefits as well as long term brain health, fish oil is quite remarkable.

I wonder if the study looked at some of the questions regarding fish oil and depression - specifically about whether the ratio of EPA to DHA showed any effect with types of depression and whether higher doses of EPA might aid depression? Or was this review of 9 studies dealing only with generic forms of fish oil without looking at specific fatty acid ratios?

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