Fish oil and depression - do they go together? Can fish oil be used to treate depression? Many people wonder about the benefits of fish oil and depression. Is fish oil an effective therapy?
Let's first look at the brain. Much of it is made from fat. The fat in the brain plays an important role in cell membranes forming, and is also needed for the brain to function correctly. Omega-3 fatty acids are an example of these fats. Omega-3’s have been known to help in the cell membrane formation. They also help to regulate how the hormones flow along with various chemical messengers, which can affect your mood.
Studies do point to omega-3s or EFAs (essential fatty acids) working to inhibit hardening of your arteries, lower the death rate for people afflicted with heart disease, and help lower the amount of triglycerides. It is also believed that one can use fish oil for depression as a natural alternative. Since fish oil is a great source for the omega-3 fatty acids, studies are showing some possible results with it helping to lift the mood in a depressed person.
A Study by Andrew Stoll
A psychiatrist, Andrew Stoll, during the 1990s starting researching to find a new therapy for manic depression, or as it is also called bipolar disorder. Lithium was and is still a popular therapy for manic depression, but it has some side effects that can be hard to deal with such as tremors, sleepiness, weight gain and sometimes the emotions can dull. People having to struggle with these side effects may not take their medication the way they should, setting up the possibility of a manic depressive episode happening.
Other medications can also be used for treatment of depression. They too can have some bad side effects. Patients should just work through these side effects and not stop taking the medications. More importantly, they should notify their doctor of any side effects though.
After Andrew did some research he found another good treatment in fish oil, one of the natural remedies for depression. It was found that it, like other drug therapies, help to make the nerve-cell walls more stable. But did he think that the fish oil could work alone to help depression? Andrew does think it can help by itself but to what extent fish oil for depression is successful needs further studying.
There is ongoing research being done to determine the effectivenes of fish oil and depression. Some small studies have shown it to have a good effect as an anti-depressant. So far it appears that omega-3 fatty acids are good for a person's overall health, along with being effective in combating depression.
Through the various studies Stoll came to the conclusion that the omega-3 found in fish oil and other foods can be of some use with patients suffering from manic depression, when used with their other medications to stabilize their moods. More research is needed though to totally prove this theory.
For a person to get enough omega-3s in their diet, fish oil supplements should be taken. The person would have to eat far too much fish in a day to get the recommended amounts. By the information stated here one can understand the taking fish oil for depression is effective on some level.
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