New research led by King’s College London has found that supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA may be able to alleviate depression and improve mood.
Mental health and heart health are associated, so this finding has the potential to provide a multitude of health benefits. Poor mood is associated with heart disease in several ways, and the two conditions can feed into each other in a harmful manner.
The new study examined omega-3’s impact on inflammation. Previous work has indicated that people with depression have elevated levels of inflammation.
This small study focused on 22 people. Participants were given one of two omega-3 supplements once per day for 12 weeks. They got either three grams of EPA or 1.4 grams of DHA.
Receiving each omega-3 fatty acid was associated with less inflammation and significant improvements in low mood symptoms. The EPA group reported a 64 percent drop in symptoms, while the DHA group reported 71 percent fewer symptoms.
The results, however, don’t prove cause and effect.
Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA are found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, and sardines. The amount used in the study, however, could only be reached by taking high-concentration supplements. Eating fish alone won’t have the same effect.
Taking care of your mental health can have major benefits for physical health, and vice versa. Although the study doesn’t definitively draw a connection between omega-3 fatty acids and inflammation, the theory of managing inflammation is associated with a host of health benefits.
Diets high in omega-3 are associated with several health benefits, as indicated by numerous studies highlighting Mediterranean-style diets.
Mat Lecompte is a health and wellness journalist. This article was first published on BelMarraHealth.com.