Study: Higher Fish Consumption Could Reduce Risk Of Depression

Sep 14, 2015 07:30 PM EDT | By Jaja Agpalo (


New research found out that eating a large amount of fish could help protect against depression.

"Higher fish consumption may be beneficial in the primary prevention of depression," Professor Dongfeng Zhang, one of the study's authors, said. "Future studies are needed to further investigate whether this association varies according to the type of fish."

The researchers used some relevant studies published between 2011 and 2014 as the basis of the meta-analysis issued in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Medical News Today reported. It included information of over 150,000 people from North America, South America, Oceania, Europe and Asia.

It was pointed out that the presence of fatty acids, proteins, vitamins and minerals in fish could be the possible explanation as to why higher rates of fish consumption were associated with reduced risk of depression. Moreover, it could be that the omega-three fatty acids found in fish are key to serotonin and dopamine activity - the two neurotransmitters that are believed to play a role in depression.

However, it was emphasized that variances in fish type, cooking styles and fish preservations could be a determining factor in the discrepancies observed between different studies. Too, the researchers suggested that there could be a biological explanation for the association.

Some Australian researchers conducted a separate analysis of the effects of fish oil on the occurrence of psychosis and psychotic conditions. Over the course of seven years, they have found out that fish oil could decrease the onset of mental illness.

Depression is considered as the world's leading cause of disability as it affects an estimated 350 million people worldwide. By 2020, it is expected to become the second leading cause of disease burden.

To date, current forms of treatment for this condition remained insufficient due to poor compliance rates and several potential side effects. As a result, numerous researchers are interested in assessing lifestyle factors which could influence the risk of this mood disorder.

Previous studies have indicated diet and food consumption may be related to the risk of depression. The authors noted that a healthy diet is associated with a reduced risk of the disorder, but this could not detach the influence of various dietary components, such as fish, red meat, cereals, fruits and vegetables.

Meanwhile, Immortal reported that the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology has linked depression to an increased rate of death as a result of heart failure.  Too, doctors at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City found out that treating depression could reduce the risk of heart disease.

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