New Zealand has one of the highest rates of depression in the world with 1 in 10 people being prescribed antidepressants. Conventional antidepressant medications have been under the spotlight in recent years with studies showing some have little positive effects and severe side effects. This has led to increased interest in the idea of dealing with depression naturally, and new research has shown that simply increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids may help treat anxiety and depression.
Conventional vs. natural therapies
The proven efficacy and safety of some natural and complementary therapies means that they may be as good as or superior to antidepressant medications for many people with depression according to medical advisor and researcher, Professor Shaun Holt of Victoria University.
“Only around a third of people with major depression respond well to antidepressant medications. Studies show that as some natural therapies work just as well or even better than antidepressant medications in some people and can have fewer side effects, they are potentially a better choice for many people with depression or can be taken in addition to antidepressants,” says Professor Holt.
“The natural health supplements with the best evidence are omega-3, St John’s Wort, folate, B vitamins and SAMe (S-adenosyl methionine). There is a lot of research evidence on how these supplements, along with exercise and a good diet can improve mood.”
A recent study of 1746 women (aged 30-65 years) undertaken by the National Institute of Health, the University of Delaware and the Eastern Virginia Medical School, USA, showed that women with higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids had a 49% reduction in risk of depressive symptoms.
Professor Holt said that a growing body of epidemiological and clinical study evidence suggests that low dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids are associated with both anxiety and depression.
“An Australasian study found omega-3 fish oil to be more effective than Prozac for patients with severe depression.”
Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements
- Blackmores Omega Triple Concentrated Fish Oil (150 capsules, RRP $59.90 / 75 capsules, RRP $35.50)
Triple strength fish oil to up your intake of omega-3s with convenience and ease.
- Red Seal Krill Oil (500 grams, RRP $24.99)
A natural oil that contains Omega-3 fatty acids bound to phospholipids, resulting in greater bioavailability (which means they are more easily absorbed by the body compared to standard fish oil).
- Healtheries Fish Oil 1000mg (200 capsules, RRP $18)
Great value low odour fish oil capsules for general wellbeing, heart and brain health, and joint and skin health.
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