Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Gray Matter & Fish Oil

A study published in the June 2007 Neuroscience Letter suggests a higher consumption of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, EPA/DHA found in fish and fish oil to be associated with greater gray matter that supports emotion arousal and regulation.

Depression has been reported to be associated with increased cytokine production, such as the pro-inflammatory marker, Interleukin-6 (IL-6). A study published in the November 2002 Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids Journal suggested an inhibiting effect of DHA on cytokine synthesis, which suggests to us that some emotional arousal and clinical depression might be linked to chronic silent inflammation.

This study found that by increasing the amount of dietary EPA/DHA (DHA measured in adipose tissue) the levels of both IL-6 and depression decreased.

This might not be great news to the pharmaceutical industry and to those doctors who hand out scripts for antidepressents like candy to get, mostly middle-age women, out of their offices. Depression could be another symptom of the silent inflammation we now link to so many degenerative disease processes.

However, it's almost impossible to compete with pharmacutical advertising on network TV. So the best we can hope for is that mainstream medicine will acknowledge the large number of published studies strongly suggesting that patients who add a daily dose of concentrated fish oil to their regular antidepressant treatment experience fewer side effects; including flat affect (the dead giveaway), sleeping problems, and decreased sexual desire.

8 comments:

Anne said...

I too notice that flat affect you mentioned in most of the people who take antidepressents. And what totally amazes me is that they seem shocked when I suggest their affect is flat.

Do the drugs keep them from noticing their own lack of mental energy?

Spencer Thornton, M.D. said...

Part of the problem with continued use of anti-depressants is that the doctors who originally prescribed them are hesitant to tell the patient to stop. So, the patient continues, becomes dependent either chemically or psychologically, and masks other problems.
Just like antibiotics or steroids, anti-depressants need to be limited in time of administration and carefully monitored by the treating physician.

Ellen said...

Good question Anne. Wish I knew the answer.

Laura Steer said...

Isn't monitoring drug response the prescribing doctor's responsibility?

Particularly, when the patient has been on the drug for years, which means the doctor is renewing the script on a fairly regular basis.

Anonymous said...

If the doctors prescribing all these antidepressents aren't monitoring the drugs response, aren't they guilty of medical negligence?

And if most doctors are actually hesitant to tell a patient to stop taking a specific drug, why do we need prescriptions from them in the first place?

Steve said...

Just pay attention to who is paying for the evening news on any network...Floating butterflies... Talking sheep...You know that's what it's all about..The drugs baby, the drugs...Watch Michael Moore's "Sicko" if you haven't...Nothing more need be said.

Beth said...

From someone who has taken anti depressants, yes we may seem flat to the rest of the world, but from our point of view, one day they kick in and all of a sudden we are able to cope with the demands of every day reality.

FYI docs only monitor how you are feeling, not how you are feeling compared to everyone else. In my experience you spend about 10 minutes at most with your prescribing doc regarding your meds. As far as they are concerned if your OK then your meds must be OK.

tickyul said...

I do not take any medication.

I take fish oil, it seems that after taking it for a while my affect becomes really flat....much like moderate depression. Stop taking it and I feel better.