Depression and Inflammation

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Depression and Inflammation

Clinical depression is a disabling condition where you lose pleasure in all things that brought you enjoyment in the past.

In fact, it becomes difficult to remember happy times.

Any motivation for the future, let alone the next day is gone.

Depression has increased significantly in the past century, with nearly 20 million people in the US now affected by it.

This increase correlates with our decreasing intake of fish and fish oil in the same time period.

Researchers learned years ago depression is often associated with a lack of the neurotransmitter serotonin.

In fact, drug companies have made billions from the development of drugs to boost serotonin levels, like Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft, all of which have become household names.

More recent research has found even nondepressed people experience an improvement in their moods when they take these drugs.

You probably wouldn’t think of depression as an inflammatory disease, but your silent inflammation profile actually corresponds to the severity of your depression.

Those who have higher levels of silent inflammation have more severe forms of depression.


One surprising benefit of high-dose fish oil is it increases serotonin levels, just as it increases dopamine levels.

This is confirmed by research showing populations who eat a lot of fish (Greenland Eskimos and the Japanese) have very low rates of depression.

In fact, the rates of depression in Japan are just a fraction of the rates in America and other countries where fish consumption is minimal.

And, New Zealanders, who eat the least amount of fish in the industrialized world, have 50 times the rate of depression as the Japanese.

In Greenland, Eskimos (who eat 7-10 grams per day of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids) have virtually no depression even though their living conditions seem pretty depressing, with only an hour or two of sunlight a day during the winter months.

Finally, clinical studies in Europe show the lower the levels of omega-3 fatty acids in your blood, the greater the incidence of depression.

One reason increased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids would improve depression is it reduces AA levels.

All of these bits of research are just clues.

But a study conducted by Harvard Medical School has provided some hard-and-fast evidence.

In this experiment, one group of people with bipolar depression took approximately 10 grams per day of ultra-refined fish oil.

The other group of people took a placebo containing olive oil.

Four months into the 9-month trial, the researchers ended the trial early because the difference between the fish oil group and the control group was so great they felt it was unethical to continue the study.

Those in the high-dose fish oil group had a significant stabilization in their symptoms, while those in the olive oil control group had a significant worsening of their symptoms.

Similar studies have confirmed the benefits of using fish oil in clinically depressed people (who don’t have bipolar depression) with the mood-lifting benefits coming as early as 3 weeks.

As dramatic as these results were, they probably could’ve been even better if the researchers had brought these people’s insulin levels under control.

A lower level of insulin would’ve further decreased the production of AA and enhanced the benefits of high-dose fish oil supplementation.

Come join us on our natural weight loss journey!  We’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

(Based on Dr. Barry Sears’ “The Anti-Inflammation Zone”)

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Dick and Lenay

email: – 715-431-0657

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