Why Omega 3 Depression Treatment Might Not Work for You

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Nowadays, depression is one of the world’s most common psychological disorders. Anyone who’s suffered from it, or knows someone who’s suffered from it, will understand how frustratingly debilitating it can be. Antidepressants are the most common way of treating it. But is there a natural alternative? What about taking Omega 3 for depression?

The problem with treating depression is that there are actually many different types of the illness. Some people even experience anxiety and panic disorders along with their depression. This makes it more difficult to effectively address.

But what is the underlying cause of depression? As we know, it’s got little to do with “depressive thoughts”. People suffering from depression can’t just snap out of it by changing their thought process. There is usually an underlying imbalance in the brain that’s a significant contributing factor to depression.

The Omega 3 and Depression Link

An emerging school of thought, supported by a number of scientific studies, is that a deficiency of Omega-3 fatty acids has a lot to do with it. These days, many people’s diets are lacking in the foods necessary to supply the body with the Omega 3-fatty acids that it requires. Every function in the body needs Omega-3 fatty acids, but the body can’t make them itself. Instead of taking in good Omega-3 fatty acids (from foods such as oily fish) people are getting a lot more bad Omega-6 fatty acids (from foods such as refined oil), which is detrimental to health.

One of the consequences of Omega-3 deficiency is impaired brain functioning, which can even be resistant to the most powerful antidepressants.

So, surely, taking an Omega-3 supplement such as fish oil must be beneficial, right?

Not necessarily!

There are two types of Omega-3s — EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docusahexaenoic acid). Some fish oil supplements have more of one than the other, while some supplements are more balanced.

So, What’s the Issue?

It’s widely accepted that DHA and EPA have different effects on different people. Commonly, high EPA is more effective at treating depression, while DHA is more effective at treating anxiety. If you take too much DHA, it can make your depression symptoms worse. Alternatively, if you take too much EPA, it can make your anxiety worse.

In 2011, the New York State Psychiatric Institute undertook a review of all studies into the use of DHA and EPA fish oil for the treatment of depression.

They divided the fish oil research studies into 2 groups. In the first group, EPA comprised less than 60% of the total Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA+DHA) in each pill. In the second group. EPA was equal to 60% or more of the total.

The results were revealing.

  • Supplements with EPA of less than 60% of total Omega-3 fatty acids (the first group) were ineffective at treating depression. In fact, in some studies they were worse than a placebo.
  • Supplements with EPA equal to or greater than total Omega-3 fatty acids were better than a placebo in all of the studies in the second group, except one.

In particular, supplements containing EPA ≥ 60% of total EPA + DHA, in a dose range of 200 to 2,200 mg/d of EPA in excess of DHA, were effective against primary depression.

Hence, it’s important that you make sure your fish oil supplement is high in EPA in order to get results.

An Effective Herbal Remedy for Depression


min001 Mindsoothe by Native Remedies is a renowned therapeutic blend of Passionflower extract and St John’s Wort, designed especially to stabilize mood and promote a positive attitude.

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— ACWG, Portland.

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