EPA Omega-3s More Effective than DHA at Combating Depression
There are two types of omega-3 fatty acids that come from fish: EPA and DHA. A recent study looked at whether EPA or DHA is responsible for the positive outcomes associated with depression. They found that EPA had a greater effect on depressive symptoms than DHA.
The study included 81 participants who were diagnosed with mild to moderate depression. Over the course of twelve weeks, they consumed either EPA, DHA, or a placebo.
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted marked improvements in the EPA group, with six participants improving their Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores by 50% or higher. None of the participants in the DHA group had comparable results.
The researchers believe that EPA is more effective at combating depression than DHA because it lowers inflammation. High levels of inflammation in the brain have been linked with increased risk of mental illness.
Researchers from Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences in Iran conducted the study. It was published in the July 2013 issue of European Neuropsychopharmacology.
In addition to mental health benefits, omega-3s have been shown to alleviate arthritis pain, improve mood, improve joint mobility, help with age related macular degeneration, and bolster the 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 DHA and EPA omega-3s.
If you don’t like fish or you’re worried about the high mercury levels found in some fish, consider taking a daily high quality supplement that has been tested for purity and potency.