Can Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help with Pandemic-Related Depression? – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 372
InViteⓇ Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH
One of the more alarming impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic was the rate in which antidepressants were prescribed. Factors such as COVID restrictions and social isolation caused mood health for many Americans to take a big hit. The exponential rate at which antidepressants and anxiolytics were prescribed in this country was incredibly alarming. This is very indicative of our collective state of mind and shows that our mood health is something that we should be looking at.†
Research on depression and omega-3 fatty acids
A recent study published in the Molecular Psychiatry Journal talked about how omega-3 fatty acids can help to combat depression. Researchers were looking at the ability of omega-3 fatty acids from things such as fish oil to help protect the cells within the brain from programmed cell death. Fish oil is rich in EPA and DHA, which were shown to be beneficial.†
In 2015, there was a review in the Journal of Integrative Medicine Research that looked at all of the scientific evidence that was correlating the use of omega-3 fatty acids to supporting people with major depressive disorders, including those other psychiatric disorders. Researchers have shown that when they give omega-3 fatty acids to people who are depressed, the patients experienced significant shifts in their overall mood and behavior.†
The pandemic and the sense of insecurity attached to it led to greater levels of low mood, depression and anxiety. But why is everyone turning to antidepressants as opposed to looking at supplements like fish oil, which contains omega-3 fatty acids? This is likely because people don’t talk about these nutrients enough.†
Are you getting enough of these important nutrients?
The consumption of omega-3 fatty acids in the Standard American Diet is next to none. This is significant because omega-3 fatty acids play a critical role in maintaining the structural integrity of the neurons in the brain and throughout the entire body. They can also help to ease inflammation and fend off oxidative stress.†
We know that omega-3 fatty acids are essential for existence and important metabolism within the body, so how can we ensure that we are getting more of these nutrients? We could try switching to the Mediterranean Diet. This diet is rich in fatty fish, which is a powerful source of omega-3 fatty acids. We can also supplement on a regular, daily basis with a supplement such as fish oil that provides the powerful fatty acids, DHA and EPA.†
In this episode, Amanda Williams, MPH discusses the increase in cases of depression during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. She details how omega-3 fatty acids can help support someone experiencing these issues and offers recommendations for how to include these nutrients in your diet and daily routine.†
- Statistics on depression and anxiety before and during the pandemic
- The widespread nature of depression
- Different symptoms associated with depression and anxiety
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