The answer to the question “does omega 3 help depression?” is a simple YES in can be helpful in many situations and individuals. Getting enough omega 3 can promote brain health and help support a healthy body and mind.
With all the health benefits you hear about omega 3 fatty acids, it might make you wonder how it can do so many good things for you. Here are some more details about how it does that.
How does omega 3 help depression?
Omega 3 is made up of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids. They are necessary to maintain proper body function, but the body is not capable of producing it naturally. This means that they have to be taken in through proper diet by eating fish, or through health food supplement capsules.
Omega 3 and the brain
Omega 3 fatty acids, especially DHA and EPA play a large role in the brain. DHA, more specifically, is believed to help the neurons in the brain communicate. This means that signals and messages in the brain can be processed in a more efficient and faster way. They are also important in the growth and maintenance of brain cells. This is why many pregnant women take a fish oil pill to help their growing baby develop a healthy brain.
Omega 3 and depression – the connection
Research has found that increase in omega 3 levels in the brain helps it allow neurotransmitters and chemicals such as serotonin to quickly pass through cell membranes. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter in the brain; lack of serotonin has been linked to depression and feelings of sadness and anxiety.
The theory is that by increasing the levels of omega 3 in the body some individuals may find that it can help alleviate some of the feelings of depression and sadness. Omega 3 is not a cure for depression and anxiety but it can help and many doctors recommend it as part of a healthy diet. Ask your doctor. Although very invasive methods are necessary for serious cases of depression, omega 3 can potentially help your moods, which can eventually lead to improvement in feelings with long-term intake.
Adding omega 3 fatty acids to your anti-depressant regimen can potentially help you with depression from a different perspective – right from its very root causes in some cases. Some doctors recommended it along with daily exercise for people with mild depression and as an adjuvant to enhance medication. Talk to your doctor about this too.
Where to get omega 3
Omega 3 fatty acids are found abundantly in fish, especially in tuna, mackerel, sardines, halibut and trout. As part of a balanced plan to help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, some doctors also suggest a daily intake of 1 gram of omega 3 fish oil. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any supplement program.
If you were to eat fish on a daily basis, the health risks caused by mercury contamination in fish might come into play. The fish these days is just not as healthy as it was some years ago. The waters are polluted in many parts of the world.
To take advantage of the properties of omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil, it is best to take supplements. Fish oil supplements have higher amounts of omega 3 fatty acids than you can find in regular fish sources. Plus, the better supplements have undergone purification and concentration so you have do not worry about mercury.
Can seafood help depression? If clinical and scientific findings are not enough to inspire someone about the potential of omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil supplements, why not try it out for yourself to see?
These statements are not medical advice and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Supplements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease.