Depressed? Sounds Fishy

Feeling tired?  Grumpy?  Depressed?  It’s probably not the kids, or your spouse, or your job either.  According to Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D., it might be the lack of fish in your diet, as she notes in her book “Eat Your Way to Sexy.”  (It’s a great book, by the way.)

“Your brain is made of 60% fat and requires more DHA than any other tissue.”  Your brain cells are encased in a fatty membrane and when it is fueled by omega-3 fat DHA your mood improves.  “In fact, as DHA levels drop, so do brain cell receptors and levels of the feel-good brain chemical serotonin, leaving people grumpy, unmotivated, fatigued and downright depressed.  As tissue levels of omega-3s drop, depression worsens.  Of course, just the opposite is true, too…Those eating the most fish have a 60-fold lower risk (of depression)!”

Ms. Somer recommends “eating fatty fish (like salmon) at least twice a week and taking a fish oil capsule that contains at least 1,000 milligrams of a combination of EPA and DHA.”

I went on WebMD and found even more benefits to eating fish and taking fish oil.  Look!

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: (click here for link: Benefits)

  • Blood fat [triglycerides]. According to a number of studies, fish oil supplements can also cut elevated triglyceride levels. Having high levels of this blood fat is a risk factor for heart disease. DHA alone has also been shown to lower triglycerides.
  • Cardiovascular health. Omega-3 fatty acids appear to lower the overall risk of death from heart disease. Fish oil may reduce arrhythmias, and people who take fish oil supplements after a heart attack cut their risk of having another heart attack. Eating fish once or twice a week seems to significantly lower the risk of stroke.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. A number of studies have found that fish oil supplements [EPA+DHA] significantly reduced stiffness and joint pain. Omega-3 supplements also seem to boost the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Depression. Researchers have found that cultures that eat foods with high levels of omega-3s have lower levels of depression. Fish oil also seems to boost the effects of antidepressants. Fish oil may help reduce the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder.
  • Prenatal health.Studies show that EPA and DHA supplementation during pregnancy boost the health of pregnant women and the development of their children. DHA appears to be important for visual and neurological development in infants.

  • Asthma. Evidence suggests that a diet high in omega 3s reduces inflammation, a key component in asthma. However, more studies are needed to show if fish oil supplements improve lung function or reduce the amount of medication a person needs to control their disease.
  • ADHD. Some studies show that fish oil can reduce the symptoms of ADHD in some children and improve their cognitive function. However, more research is needed in this area, and omega-3 supplements as a primary treatment for this disorder are not supported by research.
  • Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The evidence is preliminary, but some research suggests that omega-3s may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Recent studies have also evaluated whether the omega-3 supplement DHA can slow the decline seen in those with Alzheimer’s dementia or in age-associated memory impairment. One recent study showed that DHA can be a beneficial supplement and may have a positive effect on gradual memory loss associated with aging. However, more research needs to be done.

So, this week I’m going to try my own fishy experiment.  If all the medical people are right I’ll be smiling big time in no time at all.

Lisa (c) 2012 Lisa Traugott.  All rights reserved.  No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.

6 responses to “Depressed? Sounds Fishy

  1. My son has ADHD and I feed him large doses of omega 3. We reduced his medication from it. I also tried gluten free and saw remarkable results but its too hard when he’s 13

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  3. I LOVE salmon!! I could eat salmon cooked with mushrooms and spinach over brown rice every night! I think I have some fish oil supplements in the cabinet. I think I’ll take some to get me through this week of CHANGE!

    • I’ve made a concerted effort to get my family on the Omega 3 track after reading this. I made fish for dinner tonight and I’ve been making Henri take a fish oil pill everyday since posting this (I’ve been taking it myself since April.) I’ll check back in a week to see if he’s noticed any changes. Please let me know if it works for you too.

  4. Pingback: Big Pharma interests have been working overtime to confuse millions of Americans that could benefit from consuming Omega-3 fats (DHA and EPA) from natural and supplemental sources. « Family Survival Protocol·

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