The people of Japan experience one of the lowest bipolar disorder rates in the civilized world. Compared to the 4.4 percent lifetime prevalence rate of bipolar disorder in the U.S., in Japan it’s just 0.07 percent. That’s no typo — that’s a crazy large difference.
The Japanese don’t live a less stressful lifestyle than people in the U.S. In fact, in the white-collar world, the stress levels are often higher and the people often work harder. The Japanese people live on a small, crowded island and rely heavily on imports to sustain their way of life. Japanese schools are results-oriented, and students spend an enormous time engaged in study.
So what gives? How come the Japanese have such a low rate of bipolar disorder compared with other high-income, developed nations?
In a word: fish.
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