There is a study that proves omega-3 supplements are beneficial for mental illness. It is as effective as standard anti-depressant medication for those people suffering from depression. However, there is a catch. To address the mental condition, people should choose the best type of omega-3 supplements and follow its right amount of dosage. Since it contains vitamins and minerals, less and too much of the pills may potentially hinder it from working.
“Some studies suggest that Omega-3s may be helpful in the treatment of depression as they seem to have a mood-stabilizing effect.” Staci Lee Schnell, MS, CS, LMFT .
Common Mistakes People Do
A lot of individuals obtain mistakes when it comes to choosing and taking omega-3 for depression. One of which is taking the wrong form of the supplement. What a lot of people do not know is omega-3’s types are different in most aspects. There is a form of omega-3 that contains a fatty acid called Alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA). Usually, it gets found in oils and seeds. Another type is Eicosapentaenoic (EPA), which appear commonly in fish oils. It usually has anti-inflammatory effects. Lastly, there is Docosahexaenoic (DHA). It is also found in fish oils but contains the highest amount of concentrated omega-3.
- In line with people’s omega-3 needs, a lot of them think that because DHA is the highest omega-3, it appears required for the brain. However, that is not entirely true. Studies show that EPA is the best type of omega-3 that fits perfectly in addressing mild to severe types of depression. Yes, most experts and people are confused because EPA gets usually recommended for specific diseases and inflammation in the body. However, research shows that it is the best form of omega-3 that allows a better mood regulation. Christina L. Gmyr, LMHC, NCC used to say, “Certain foods are linked to mental health issues such as increased symptoms of depression and decreased self-esteem.”
- Another thing that people did not know is the amount of omega-3 needed for treating depression. So to get an adequate amount of omega-3, people should take at least eight to ten capsules a day. However, taking too many of omega-3 supplements will increase the level of DHA. In unfortunate cases, it is not necessary at all. What people should do is take a concentrated form of omega-3, which is about 500 to 600mg of EPA and a little DHA. With that, the three to four capsules per day will be enough combination.
- Concerning people’s understanding of omega-3 needs, most of them assume that consuming a portion of food with omega-3 in it can sustain the needed nutrients alone. The truth is, it is not possible to get the right amount by only eating foods with omega-3. The reason for that is the process that foods undergo. Several preparation and cooking procedures take away the food nutrients. With that, there is no guarantee that the mind and body will still receive the proper amount of omega-3 after the food gets prepared.
“It’s important to underscore here the importance of monitoring your mental health and knowing how different medications and lifestyle changes can impact your mental health.” Julia Hogan, LCPC explains. Honestly, there are lots of supplements that promise to give better health results. Some of them are beneficial specifically for mental health. But relying only on these pills will never address a mental condition. Diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle is always part of the psychological solution.