Omega-3 supplements may be unnecessary for the treatment of anxiety and depression

There is a widespread opinion that increasing the intake of omega-3 fatty acids can protect or even reverse psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression. However, a new study published today in the British Journal of Psychiatry seems to show that omega-3 supplements do not offer an advantage in this respect, assuming that certain amounts of this type of fat may be essential for good health.

The researchers examined 31 previous studies conducted on adults with or without depression or with or without anxiety. A total of 41,470 participants were interviewed. Some of them consumed certain amounts of long-chain omega-3 fats, mainly fish oil, during the different observations of each study, while others consumed the usual amount over six months. The researchers found that these fats had little or no effect in preventing depression or anxiety symptoms.

According to Lee Hooper, lead author of the study and researcher at Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia, the effect of omega-3 fatty acids on depression or anxiety is very low or non-existent and should therefore not be promoted as a therapy for these two conditions.

Katherine Deane, a researcher at the School of Health Sciences at the same university, also goes in the same direction, saying that although bluefish is a very nutritious food and should be part of all balanced diets, there is no evidence that its intake, for example through dietary supplements, can help with depression or anxiety.