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Omega-3 Treatment for Depression

Can omega 3 help treat depression? According to new research, the answer is yes.

In one of the largest studies on omega-3 supplements done to date, Canadian researchers found that for people who don’t also have an anxiety disorder with their depression, the popular omega-3 fish supplements helped improve depression symptoms.

The improvements the researchers found in this study were similar to improvements found in studies of antidepressants, suggesting that for some people, omega-3 may be an inexpensive antidepressant alternative.

2 Comments to
Omega-3 Treatment for Depression

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  1. An “inexpensive alternative?” What drug are comparing this omega-3 supplement to on price? CVS sells this brand – $25 for 60 caps; at 3/day that’s a 20 day supply. $100 for 80 days?

    Walmart sells a 30 day supply of fluoxetine for $4. The program is available to both insured and uninsured patients.

    Omega-3 is a drug; it’s not a non-drug alternative like yoga or meditation or psychotherapy. I take this much fish oil as part of my heart disease treatment. If omega-3 was really so effective for depression, then why aren’t all us heart attack survivors feeling groovy? Maybe this is one of the largest studies of omega-3 for mental health, but not for cardiovascular health.

    “Efficacy for these patients was comparable to that generally observed with conventional antidepressant treatment.” But this study was on a group that had failed to improve with conventional treatments, or were “hard to treat”?

  2. Eloise, your point is well taken about Omega 3 not being inexpensive. But in terms of how psych meds destroyed my life and cost me jobs, omega 3 supplements would have been alot cheaper in the scheme of things

    I love how when these studies come up as alternative to treating depression with psych meds, there is always, the “yes but” qualifier.

    Hate to burst your bubble Dr. Grohol but omega 3’s cured my depression. I spent many years on psych meds and they were mediocre at best. Many other people have had similar experiences.

    I like the fact you can purchase this product at a local drug store and not have to wait for online delivery although I am assuming you might find it cheaper via the internet.


  3. My Psychiatrist in California knew about this over 5 years ago. The only gittacha is that it has to be the EPA Omega-3 not the DHA & has to be over 1050 of the EPA which if yu look on the internet, there are very few places that carry this & last time I looked, there was only one brand that fills this requirement.. My psychiatrist was able to carry it in his office, but finding it just out in the drug stores or where other omega 3’s are found….it doesn’t exist. Remember, it’s not just any omega 3 & it’s not the DHA that works….only the EPA omega 3 & at a very high dose…..but it sure does work well even though hard to find

  4. Currently I am taking an Omega 3 that includes 360 mg of a DHA omega 3 derived from algae. While not feeling “groovy”, the feelings of doom and gaping existential awfulness are gone. I am also reading a new book on anxiety, “My Age of Anxiety….” by Scott Stossel which I am finding very informative.



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