Fish Oil to Treat Depression?
Omega-3's may have an affect on serotonin levels.
Supplement or Go Fish continued...
Though Stoll gave patients 10 grams of fish oil a day for his study, he
advises starting with lower doses. He believes that packaged fish oil
supplements are the easiest -- and possibly safest -- way to increase omega-3
"Unfortunately in our country eating too much fresh fish is potentially
dangerous because of possible mercury and pesticide levels," he explains.
"Farm-raised fish is perhaps safer, but depending on what they are fed, the
fish may not have the needed quantity of omega-3's."
But concerns have also been raised about the levels of contamination in fish
oil supplements. Regulators do not currently test the purity of
Hibbeln cautions that people should not take cod liver oil in the quantity
necessary to get three grams per day of omega-3's because that much cod liver
oil would contain dangerous levels of vitamin A.
On the other hand, flaxseed oil is a good source of omega-3's. It can be
taken as a supplement or used in salad dressings. Unlike fish oils, which
contain a different combination of omega-3's, flaxseed oil should not be cooked
because heat can destroy the omega-3's.
More answers are expected soon. The National Institute of Mental Health's
Center for Complementary and Alternate Medicine is sponsoring Stoll in a large
new study, one of three now under way. All three are expected to be complete by
the end of next year.
But Dave probably won't wait for the results. "Looks like I need to go out
and get myself some fish oil," he says.