ASK YOUR PHARMACIST?
Fish oils and mood
Eamonn Brady is a pharmacist and the owner of Whelehans Pharmacy's at Pearse St and Clonmore, Mullingar. If you have any health questions e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org
An Irish survey indicated that only 10% of the Irish population eat enough oily fish to receive their necessary intake of Omega 3.
Omega 3’s and mood
There is evidence that omega 3 fatty acids supplementation might be helpful in cases of depression and anxiety. Studies report highly significant improvement from omega 3 fatty acids supplementation alone and in conjunction with medication. Research has shown a link between the amount of a fish people in different countries eat and the level of depression. In Japan, where people eat on average 70kg of fish a year, the rate of depression is 0.12%. Whereas in New Zealand, where people eat only 18kg of fish a year, the rate of depression is almost 50 times higher.
It is thought that omega 3 may help your brain work more efficiently, so serotonin, which can boost your mood, has more of an effect on you. Evidence of their effects on mood is still not conclusive.
A 2008 study in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry showed that an omega 3 supplement called PlusEPA® may be as effective as Prozac® in reducing the symptoms of depression. When PlusEPA® was used in combination with anti-depressants; results were enhanced effectiveness of the anti-depressant. PlusEPA® is a 95% concentration of omega 3 containing a daily dose of 1000mg of EPA designed for emotional health. It is available from Whelehans Pharmacies.
While PlusEPA may aid symptoms, it should not be considered as a stand-alone treatment for depression and anxiety. It is not a substitute for proper psychological treatment like counselling or prescription medication. You should always speak to a health professional to discuss your options if suffering from depression and anxiety.
Disclaimer: For more specific advice and information on diet and food, you should speak to a dietician or nutritionist. Supplements are not meant as a substitute for a balanced diet.
For health advice and information call in to Whelehans Pharmacies, log on to www.whelehans.ie or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore).