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Fish oil and mood disorder symptoms May 6, 2011

Posted by indigomind in Diet, Supplements.
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I have been taking  about 1.0 -2.0 grams of fish oil(EPA) supplements off and on for about six years now. Prior to taking the supplements I experienced rather pronounced dysphoria when I woke up in the middle of the night and severe irritability during the day. The fish oil seemed to reduce these symptoms considerably. Recently a systematic review supported my experience however it seems like the initial enthusiasm for fish oil has died down somewhat. The review found that the type of fish oil supplement could make a difference with respect to antidepressant effect and that all fish oil supplement are not created equal.

PsychEducation is one site that has some information on studies that have been done on fish oil and mood disorders. The author of this site supports the use of fish oil although he admits he hasn’t witnessed any dramatic improvement with his patients. He recommends that if a person does try fish oil that he/she take a supplement with both EPA and DHA. The amount of EPA per day should be around 1.5 grams. Higher amounts have been tested however there didn’t seem to be a significant difference in mood above 2.0 grams of EPA.

When tested in vitro, fish oil supplements possessed a number of functions that are atributed to mood stabilizers and to antidepressants. Some of these functions included the ability to increase serotonin, regulate Calcium ion channels,and the ability to effect a number of secondary messengers in a nerve cell. Given the fact that there are relatively few side effects to fish oil it can’t hurt to try it.

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