|Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor|
Previous studies have shown that people with higher inflammation – including those who are taking cytokines for medical treatment – have an increased risk of depression. A recent study suggests that taking a supplement of omega-3 fatty acids may help combat inflammation-induced depression.
Participants in the study included 152 patients with hepatitis C. They were chosen to participate because a 6-month treatment course of interferon-alpha therapy for chronic hepatitis C causes depression in 30% of patients.
The participants were given either EPA omega-3 fatty acids, DHA omega-3 fatty acids, or a placebo every day for two weeks. After those two weeks, all of the participants underwent a 24-week course of interferon-alpha treatment. The researchers evaluated them for depression throughout the study.
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that the 10% of the EPA group suffered new-onset depression, compared to 28% of the DHA group and 30% of the placebo group. Additionally, both EPA and DHA delayed the onset of interferon induced depression.
Researchers from King’s College in London conducted the study. It was published on October 1, 2014 in Biological Psychiatry.
DHA and EPA are the two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil. Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, better moods, and aiding your immune system.
Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in omega-3s. If you don’t like fish, consider taking a daily high quality non-fish supplement that has been tested for purity and potency.