Eating Fish Helps Antidepressants Work Better

Approximately one half of patients who are prescribed antideppresant medication do not have a beneficial response. Research presented at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology shows that the intake of fatty acids that are found in fish can increase the beneficial response of antidepressants for those who may otherwise be non-responders.


Approximately one half of patients who are prescribed antideppresant medication do not have a beneficial response. Research presented at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology shows that the intake of fatty acids that are found in fish can increase the beneficial response of antidepressants for those who may otherwise be non-responders. Researcher, Roel Mocking explained, “We were looking for biological alterations that could explain depression and antidepressant non-response,…we saw that depressed patients had an altered metabolism of fatty acids. This means that the alterations in fatty acid metabolism (and their relationship with stress hormone regulation) were associated with future antidepressant response.”
In this study patients who did not respond with benefit to their antidepressant medications were assessed regarding their dietary habits. The data they obtained from their analysis showed that people who ate fatty fish at least once per week showed a 75% chance of benefiting from antidepressants, and the study subjects who never ate fish had only a 23% chance of benefit.
Essential fatty acids, the relevant substances found in fish that are known to be beneficial, have long been recommended as nutritional substances for depressed patients. The possibility that they can be proven to help other mental / emotional conditions highlights the need for more research in this area. Regarding other research that needs to be done Dr Mocking says,”Our next step is to look at whether these alterations in fatty acid metabolism and hormonal activity are specific for depression, so we are currently repeating these measurements in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia.”

 

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