Omega 3 has long been thought to be an essential nutrient vital to a long and healthy life. Since the 1930’s, omega-3 fatty acids have been on our radar, and even modern day medicines like Lovaza make it an essential part of their chemical makeup.
Although the FDA has only given official credibility to the use of omega-3 for cardiovascular health, those of us in the natural health industry recognize omega-3 fatty acids as being beneficial for a multitude of other ailments.
Depression is perhaps one of the most popular conditions that people are trying to treat using omega 3 fatty acids along with a combination of other nutrients, and it has been found in many tests to reduce or completely eliminate symptoms of major depressive disorder in long and short-term tests.
Omega 3 and inflammation
Now, according to a new study in Brain, Behavior and Immunity, omega-3 is found to also help with inflammation. And according to health and nutrition educator Dr. Joseph Mercola, inflammation may be one of the leading causes of depression:
“The notion that inflammation in your gut could be linked to your symptoms of depression may sound far-fetched, but it actually makes perfect sense when you understand the intricate connection between your brain and your digestive tract.
Perhaps the simplest example to use is getting butterflies in your stomach when you’re nervous, thus your thoughts, i.e. brain, are manifesting symptoms in your gut. But another route of connection is via low-grade inflammation, which is a significant contributing factor to numerous diseases that often occur alongside depression, and may, in fact, be manifesting your depressive symptoms.”
According to Hungarian publication Orvosi Hetilap, “one line of studies has shown that depression is frequently associated with manifest gastrointestinal inflammations and autoimmune diseases as well as with cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, type 2-diabetes and also cancer, in which chronic low-grade inflammation is a significant contributing factor.”
Bringing it back to omega-3, the study and Brain, Behavior and Immunity report was backed by the Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science and doesn’t suggest a daily supplement, though it does recommend increasing your daily natural intake:
“The students received either n-3 [omega-3] (2.5 g/d, 2085 mg eicosapentaenoic acid and 348 mg docosahexanoic acid) or placebo capsules that mirrored the proportions of fatty acids in the typical American diet.”
Extensive clinical research shows a direct correlation between depression and low levels of the omega-3 essential fatty acid, the good kind of fat found in fish.
Get more omega 3 to help depression
Are you getting in your diet any of the brain healthy omega-3 fats? Most people with depression don’t get nearly enough and therefore need to supplement with fish oil; numerous scientific studies have demonstrated how effectively omega-3 improves mood.
In fact, increasing your daily intake of omega-3 is just one of five powerful steps to depression recovery and in How to Treat Depression Without Medication: 5 Natural Depression Therapies that Treat Serotonin Deficiency Symptoms and Other Common Causes of Depression, we’ll show you the best food to consume as well as the recommended daily dose for supplements of EPA and DHA, which most integrative physicians recommend. Download this free special report now.
Originally published in 2011, this blog has been updated.