Health Sachet No 256:

Omega-3 supplements are helpful in myriad medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. They help reduce inflammation in the body, helping in most ‘-itis’ conditions (‘itis’ means inflammation of that organ) such as arthritis, sinusitis, rhinitis, bronchitis, and colitis.

Now, University of Amsterdam reports that Omega-3 supplements, which are mostly fish oil supplements, reduce the symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) or Depression.

These findings are important because depression is linked to heart attack and sudden cardiac death.

Another recent study found that those who already have high levels of omega-3 in their blood benefited from omega-3 supplements even more.

Some salient points:

  • Omega-3 cannot be synthesized by the body. It must come from food.
  • About 8% of your brain weight consists of omega-3 fatty acids. They build cell membranes and even increase the volume of brain matter (read, make brain healthier).
  • Antidepressants such as SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), do not solve the problem but just reduce the symptoms. Side effects of SSRIs include anxiety, feeling agitated, indigestion, constipation, dizziness, blurred vision, dry mouth, insomnia, headache, and sexual problems.
  • Omega-3 supplements are found to be even more effective in depression patients who are already taking antidepressants.
  • Adding fish or fish oil (omega-3) supplements to diet can help in depression.
  • Depressive patients already on antidepressants can benefit even more by taking omega-3 supplements.