Fish oil is gaining huge audiences for its potential heart health effects, but what can it do for your mental health?
A new study found that supplementing with the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA can support mental health and improve mood.
Mental health and heart health are related, so this finding has the potential to produce a wide variety of health benefits. Bad mood is linked to heart disease in a number of ways, each of which can adversely affect one another.
The new study looked at the influence of omega-3s on inflammation. Previous work has shown that people with a bad mood have an increased rate of inflammation. However, there are no proven medical remedies that focus on inflammation and mood support.
This small study focused on 22 people. Participants received one of two omega-3 supplements once a day for 12 weeks. They were given either 3 grams of EPA or 1.4 grams of DHA.
Ingesting both omega-3s was associated with less inflammation and significant improvements in symptoms of depression. The EPA group reported a 64 percent decrease in symptoms and the DHA group reported 71 percent fewer symptoms.
However, the results do not prove cause and effect.
The omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA are found in oily fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and sardines. However, the amount used in the study could only be achieved by taking highly concentrated dietary supplements. Eating fish alone does not have the same effect.
Maintaining your mental health can have great physical health benefits, and vice versa. While the study fails to establish cause and effect, the theory of anti-inflammation has been linked to a wide variety of health benefits.
A diet high in omega-3s is linked to a host of health benefits, as shown by numerous studies highlighting a Mediterranean diet.
It’s hard to tell if fish oil can improve your mood, but it could be. Choosing a healthy lifestyle every day can also contribute to a better quality of life and mood.