New Study Reveals Certain Formulations of Fish Oil Supplements Effective for Major Depression
NEW YORK, NY – In the latest issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, a team of Columbia University psychiatric researchers shows that only certain formulations of fish oil supplements provide sufferers relief from depression. This finding could be significant to the over 20 million people in the United States who suffer from major depression.
“If you are taking a formulation with equal amounts of the fatty acids DHA and EPA, you may not be doing anything for your depression,” said Elizabeth Sublette, MD, PhD, Director of the MIND Research Clinic at Columbia Psychiatry and the New York State Psychiatric Institute and lead author on the research study.
She added, “Although fish oil is not currently an FDA-approved treatment for depression, our examination of clinical trials from the last nine years of published studies showed that EPA-rich formulations of fish oil were effective in treating depression. EPA had to be present in at least a 60/40 proportion with the amount of DHA in order to see results—studies using lower proportions of EPA were ineffective.”
Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and anchovies are rich dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important compounds the human body needs for optimum health. These fatty acids are essential, which means people must consume them because the body will not make these nutrient compounds itself.
Today, fish oil is prescribed as a triglyceride-lowering treatment. This research study shows that fish oil is a promising treatment for depression as well.
There are several types of omega-3 fatty acids, but two of them, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), are the most recognized for their role in human health.
According to Dr. Sublette, consumers can perform a simple calculation to determine if the brand they are considering has the optimal ratio of EPAs to other omega-3 compounds: “Look on the nutrition information label and find the milligrams of EPA and DHA per serving. Divide the amount of EPA by the sum of EPA+DHA. If you get 0.60 or greater, our research suggests that this brand will be a helpful adjunct to depression treatment.”
Details regarding fish oil supplements and information about Dr. Sublette’s ongoing research can be obtained at http://www.moodstudies.org.