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More Omega-3 Studies Find Links to Depression

With all the bad news mounting on antidepressants -- particularly with recent black box warnings imposed by the FDA based on the higher potential risk for suicides among kids -- it's good to see conventional medicine is taking a more thorough look at more natural treatments, like retooling one's diet to contain omega-3 fatty acids.

In fact, a number of studies have found links between the nation's low omega-3 consumption and its alarmingly high depression rates, according to one researcher.

In one study, researchers theorized the human brain is adapted to Paleolithic diets of our ancient ancestors, whose diet comprised equal proportions of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fats (found in corn and soy seed oils). In the past century, however, western diets have lowered the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 to about 1:25. At the same time, the prevalence of major depression increased.

Another study released last year found seniors who suffered from depression had significantly lower percentages of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Also, ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 fats were significantly higher in subjects with depressive disorders than in control subjects.

For more information about omega-3 fats and their link to depression, you'll want to read Dr. Alan Logan's wonderful feature posted earlier this year.

Science Daily November 8, 2004

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