It is estimated that depression currently affects 350 million people worldwide, with the Would Health Organisation predicting it to become the second leading cause of ill health by 2020.
New research shows that people who eat a lot of fish are less likely to be depressed. Men saw their risk reduce by 20 per cent, while women saw a 16 per cent reduction.
The researchers – who drew on data from more than 150,000 people across the world - suggested omega-3 fatty acids may alter the brain’s structure, which may modify the activity of chemical messengers linked with depression.
Previous research has shown a link between eating fish and depression, but the impact varied by gender. A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that women who didn’t eat a lot of fish were more likely to be depressed (but the same wasn’t true for men).
The connection is clearer among those who take fish oil supplements. A large Norwegian study of 22,000 people found that those who took fish oil were about 30 per cent less likely to have symptoms of depression than those who didn’t. The longer study participants took fish oil, the less likely they were to experience symptoms of depression.
Choosing a fish oil supplement
High quality omega-3 fish oil supplements are derived from the flesh of the fish, rather than the liver. The oil should contain the same ratio of fatty acids (EPA and DHA) as found in nature and should be screened to ensure no toxins are present.
Fish oil v Krill oil
Krill oil is now being offered as an omega-3 supplement, with manufacturers claiming that it offers a better alternative to the fish oil we have been trusting for decades. This is not the case in terms of science or value for money.
While more than 1800 clinical trials have been conducted on fish oil preparations, just six have involved krill oil.
Try Pharma Nord’s Bio-Fish Oil – only 8p per capsule.
Bio-Fish Oil contains more than 3 times the amount of EPA/DHA than some krill oil products and is around four times cheaper.