Omega 3 for Depression

 Depression  is a disease that affects millions of people everyday. It can be a very detrimental, debilitating illness that can cause suffering in ones day to day life.  Depression  affects everything from your mood to your ability to concentrate properly. While there are many drugs available on the market to combat this disease an often overlooked treatment option involves using omega 3 for  depression .

 Depression  statistics and Symptoms

Researchers are unsure of the exact cause of  depression . It is thought to be due to a chemical imbalance in your brain as a result of a combination of genetic and environmental (such as stress or trauma) factors. Many of those who suffer from  depression  are also prone to have anxiety attacks as well. The illness also weakens the immune system and makes one susceptible to physical disorders.

The following factors is thought to play a role in the development of  depression :

-alcohol or drug abuse

-certain medical conditions

-sleeping problems

-stressful life events

Nealy 13 million people experience a depressive disorder with only 20% of those seeking adequate treatment. In the United States, nearly 16% of the population or 35 million Americans suffer from severe  depression .

Omega 3 Fatty Acid

Omega 3 fatty acid is called an essential polyunsaturated fatty acid. It is ‘essential’ because it is not synthesized in our body and must be obtained through diet and supplementation. Omega 3 can commonly be found in foods such as fish, flax seed, and some nuts. Unfortunately, in recent decades our diets have moved away from omega 3 rich foods. The ratio of fats from fish and wild plants compared to those from animals and vegetable oil sources has gone from 1:1 to something like 1:10.

Omega 3 fatty acid plays a very important role in brain health. The result of not having enough omega 3 in our diet may have led to the sharp rise in the rates of  depression  in recent decades.

Omega 3 for  Depression 

The fact that populations that eat more fish per capita – Japan (147 pounds a year), Iceland (225 pounds per year) – have low rates of season affective disorder (SAD) make omega 3 fatty acids a strong choice as an alternative or supplemental treatment for  depression . Omega 3 has been shown in studies to be effective for people with mild  depression . It uses a mechanism of action different from antidepressants, which means utilizing both treatments fights  depression  on two fronts.

How much omega 3 is effective to fight  depression ? Researchers have shown that 1 to 2 grams a day of supplements led to a measurable reduction in major  depression . It has also been revealed that women who develop postpartum  depression  tend to have an omega 3 deficiency. This is important to note because antidepressants can be harmful to the fetus and child (through breast-feeding). Omega 3 may provide a safe alternative to such treatment.

Omega 3 for  depression  is still a relatively new idea. It does not have the same extensive studies of other treatments, but looks to be very promising as a natural alternative.