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Editor & Reporter

Hi, My name is Kevin (learn more about me here) and welcome to this site.

As Editor and Reporter for, I've researched the health benefits of natural oils and tried to present you the most accurate and current information for enhancing your health with these products.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you find this site helpful and informative.


Guide to Using Fish Oil for Depression

fish oil depression

Can Fish Oil treat Depression?

If fish oil an effective treatment for depression?

Research indicates that depression occurs more often in countries where they don’t consumed high amounts of fish and seafood.

When scientists compared elderly people in Japan, where average consumption of seafood is highest, to their counterparts in the USA, they found the lowest rates of depression in Japan.

An article in the 1998 Journal of Affective Disorders claims that patients diagnosed with depression had significantly lower blood levels of certain healthy fatty acids, called omega 3 fatty acids.  Scientists have also found a higher risk for suicide in depressed patients whom had imbalances in their fatty acids profiles.

Your body can’t produce omega 3 fatty acids so you need get them in your diet. Fatty fish and fish oil is an excellent source of these healthy fats and they’ve been proven to play an important role in your mood and brain function.


How Does Fish Oil Reduce Depression?

Scientists believe omega-3 fatty acids influence the production of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects your mood. Prozac is a popular anti-depressant used to increase the re-uptake of serotonin.

fish oil depression

Fish oil may affect serotonin levels

Researchers at the National Institute of Health fed piglets a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids and found a corresponding increase of serotonin in the frontal cortex; increasing the dosage lead to an increase in serotonin.

In another study where men with bipolar disorder were given either fish oil or olive oil, the fish oil group experienced a greater decrease in depression symptoms and stayed in remission longer. When the men taking olive oil switched over to fish oils, they also experienced a positive change in their mood. The researchers believe that fish oil improves serotonin levels and which may enhances cellular blood flow in the brain.

So it appears that the healthy fats in fish oils may have a distinct mood-elevating effect. This theory was also supported by Taiwanese researchers who found that people with depression or bipolar disorders experienced a noticeable anti-depressant effect when they added fish oils to their diets.

What’s the Best Fish Oil Depression Dosage?

While the above information is encouraging, there’s still conflicting reports on what’s the best fish oil dosage for improving your mood. There are some studies that used up to 4 grams a day of EPA and other studies showed positive effects using only one (1) gram a day:

  • Psychiatrists compared the effects of 1, 2 or 4 grams a day of EPA in patients with persistent depression. People using 1 gram per day of EPA showed a 50% change in Depression Ratings. They found that higher dosages of 2 or 4 grams per day didn’t improve mood or depression test scores.

  • Doctors at the Institute of Psychiatry, London, completed a 12 week, double-blind study on the effects of 1 – 2 grams a day of EPA, compared with a placebo on bipolar depression. Researchers found a significant improvement in Depression Test Scores in patients that received the EPA treatment, compared to the placebo.

  • A 2009 Canadian study examined the effects of omega-3 fatty acids in menopausal women with diagnosed depression. Patients taking 1 gram per day for eight weeks reported less mood swings and improvement in depression symptoms, particularly among test subjects with less severe depression.

So it appears that the healthy fats found in fish oils may help reduce mood swings and improve mental health for some people, particularly when taken with their current treatment. However, higher fish oil dosages may not offer similar results….

The March 2005 issue of Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids reported fish oils were no better than placebo when added to existing therapy.  Seventy-seven (77) patients treated for depression were randomly assigned 8 grams a day of fish oil or olive oil. Researchers found 8 grams a day of fish oils did not improve mood when compared to the control oil.



fish oil depressionWhile the above research is encouraging, it’s obvious that more studies are required to determine what role the omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil can actually play in improving your mood and mental health.

To optimize your diet, you could simply eat more fish to get a natural source of omega 3 fatty acids. I think that the best type of fish to eat would include sardines, mackeral and trout; all of these fish contain naturally high levels of omega 3 fatty acids. If you’re concerned about exposure to mercury and other contaminants from eating fresh fish, you could choose to eat only farmed fish or you could use a pharmaceutical fish oil supplement.

Please remember to contact your health care provider before using any nutritional supplement and don’t stop taking any prescribed medication without your doctor’s consent.

Fish Oil Depression Research References:

Omega-3 Eicosapentaenoic Acid in Bipolar Depression: Report of a Small Open-label Study. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2005 Jun;66(6):726-9.

Fat Food for a Bad Mood. Could We Treat and Prevent Depression in Type 2 Diabetes by Means of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids? A Review of the Evidence. Diabetic Medicine – A Journal of the British Diabetic Association, 2005 Nov;22(11):1465-75.

Efficacy of ethyl-eicosapentaenoic acid in bipolar depression: randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study. British Journal of Psychiatry 2006 Jan;188:46-50.

A Dose-Ranging Study of the Effects of Ethyl-Eicosapentaenoate in Patients With Ongoing Depression Despite Apparently Adequate Treatment With Standard Drugs. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2002;59:913-919.

Long-Chain {omega}-3 Fatty Acids for Indicated Prevention of Psychotic Disorders. Archives of General Psychiatry 2010;67(2):146-154.

Omega-3 fatty acids in major depressive disorder. A preliminary double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. European Neuropsychopharmacology. 2003 Aug;13(4):267-71.

Addition of omega-3 fatty acid to maintenance medication treatment for recurrent unipolar depressive disorder. Fish oils and Depression Research, American Journal of Psychiatry. 2002 Mar;159(3):477-9

Omega 3 Fatty acid treatment of women with borderline personality disorder: a double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2003 Jan;160(1):167-9

The role of omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of bipolar disorders: the current situation. Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie. 2007;49(9):639-47.

A meta-analytic review of double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2007 Jul;68(7):1056-61

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