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Fish oil for depression?

By Edited May 12, 2015 0 1

Fish oil is crucial to brain health. Our brains consist of over fifty percent fat and they need healthy fat to work properly. If we do not eat enough fish oil, we may battle depression. With studies released each week on the necessity of fish for and depression, consumers need to know: What is a good fish oil dose for depression?

First, the research on fish oil and depression is relatively new and there is no official, agreed-upon dosage for depression. In fact, how much we should take largely depends on how much is already in our diet from fatty fish such as salmon. However, researchers are looking at the question of "how much." A study by Joseph Hibbeln concluded that Americans should consume 3.5 grams of EPA and DHA daily to decrease the probability of stroke, heart disease, depression, and diabetes. EPA and DHA are long-chain Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil. In The Omega Connection, Andrew Stoll recommends 4 grams of EPA per day for those with depression.

EPA and DHA are specific long chain fatty acids found most abundantly in fish and seafood. That is why fish oil is the preferred source of these beneficial fats. To a lesser degree, these fats are found in eggs enriched with Omega 3 and grass fed beef and lamb. EPA is not found in vegetarian sources of

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fats such as hemp oil. The recommendation of 4 grams of EPA each day is a lot but essential to help fill a life-long deficiency of long chain Omega 3 fatty acids in our diet. An option for reaching the required amount of 3-4 grams of EPA and DHA daily is to eat more fatty fish. One 3-ounce serving of a fatty fish such as salmon may have 1-3 grams of EPA and could meet your fish oil daily requirement.

Most people will meet their requirement with a fish oil nutritional supplement, either as a liquid oil or in an oil capsule. If you are shopping for a supplement, it is critical that you read the label carefully. The front of the bottle may say "1000 mg of fish oil." That is one gram of Omega 3 fat. On closer inspection, you may notice that the supplement has only 120 milligrams of EPA. You would require 30 capsules to meet the suggested intake of fish oil for depression. Not only is that product extremely expensive, but it is hard to imagine swallowing that much oil.

Read the fine print on the label and try to consume 4 grams of EPA and DHA from fish oil each day. If you are buying the product on the Internet, make sure you can read the label on the back of the product. In a health food store, ask for help reading the label. Fish oil could be your next important step in rebuilding your brain and fighting depression.

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Comments

Jul 23, 2010 10:16pm
Sookie
I was raised on cod liver oil in the winter. I was so glad when capsules came out. Great article!
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