According to new research published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, a high intake of fish oil could reduce the risk of depression.
For the meta-analysis, researchers used data from 26 studies and 150,278 participants. Ten studies included participants from Europe and seven involved participants in North America. The rest involved participants from Asia, South America, and Oceania.
In the European studies, there was a significant association between high consumption of fish and a reduced risk of depression by 17%—this when compared with the lower levels of fish consumption. This association, however, didn’t emerge in studies from the other continents.
When researchers examined the effects of fish consumption on men and women separately, they found that the association remained—there was a 20% reduced risk in men and 16% lower risk in women.
According to researchers, the differences in fish types, preservation, and cooking styles could be determining factors in inconsistencies between the different studies. Although the link is only shown in the European studies, researchers still conclude that higher fish consumption is associated with a reduced risk of depression.
Depression affects an estimated 350 million people worldwide. By 2020, it is projected to be the world’s second-most cause of disease burden.
Sources for Today’s Article:
McIntosh, J., “Higher Fish Consumption Linked to Reduced Risk of Depression,” Medical News Today web site, September 11, 2015; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/299250.php.
Fang, L., et al., “Fish consumption and risk of depression: a meta-analysis,” Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health September 10, 2015, doi: 10.1136/jech-2015- 206278.