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More Evidence That Omega-3 Supplements May Alleviate Depression

A new double-blind study has found that even a short course of omega-3 supplements reduces inflammation-based depression in patients with hepatitis C. Published in the journal, Biological Psychiatry, the study divided 152 hepatitis C patients into three groups; one group received the omega-3 fatty acid, EPA, a second group received the omega-3 called DHA, and the third received a placebo. EPA and DHA are found in fish oil, among other sources. The treatment with omega-3s ended after only 2 weeks, at which point the patients began receiving interferon-alpha therapy for 24 weeks. Interferon-alpha is a common treatment for chronic hepatitis C, but one with known and sometimes severe side effects, such as depression. Here’s what the researchers discovered:

  • EPA significantly reduced the incidence of depression; only 10% of those who had taken EPA experienced depression compared to 30% in the placebo group.
  • While DHA did not significantly reduce the incidence of depression, both EPA and DHA significantly delayed the onset of depression.
  • Both EPA and DHA were well-tolerated and did not produce serious side-effects.

This new study adds to a growing body of research suggesting that omega-3 fatty acids have antidepressant effects.

Source: Biological Psychiatry

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2021.