strong guy curling barPrevious research has indicated that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids may relieve depression in some individuals. One particular paper, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, looked at which particular omega-3 fatty acid is responsible for this effect. The researchers performed a meta-analysis of 28 studies.

On a whole, they found that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation did in fact decrease the symptoms of depression. Taking a pure DHA supplement did not seem to produce an effect comparable to taking both DHA and EPA, if any effect at all. Studies using a supplement with a higher EPA/DHA ratio seemed to produce better results than those using a supplement with a lower EPA/DHA ratio.

The studies examined in this meta-analysis do provide evidence for EPA being more effective than DHA in treating depression, however the researchers noted that issues such as sample size and duration of the study may have skewed the results. More research needs to be done before conclusions can be made, but the research presented in this paper definitely points to the efficacy of EPA for treating or preventing depression.



Martins JG. (2009). EPA but not DHA appears to be responsible for the efficacy of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in depression: evidence from a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 28(5), 525-42.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cassie is a chemistry major and national level bodybuilder. Questions or comments? Talk to Cassie on the FORUM or on FACEBOOK.

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