You've probably heard of the numerous benefits of omega-3 fats, from preventing heart disease to fighting cancer. Now researchers are looking to add "anti-depressant" to the list.
A review of 10 recent studies suggests that eating more omega-3 fats from fish oil, called DHA and EPA, can benefit people with depression, especially treatment-resistant depression, childhood depression, and postpartum depression.
DHA is an essential component of brain cell membranes, where they help cells communicate messages effectively. (EPA is converted to DHA in the body.) DHA may fight depression by making brain cells more receptive to the brain chemical serotonin. It's thought that people who are depressed have low serotonin levels in their brain cells.
EPA and DHA are found in cold water fish such as albacore tuna, salmon, trout, sardines, sea bass and mackerel. Currently there are no official recommended intakes for DHA and EPA.
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