Dr. Weil explains what Omega-3 fatty acids are and if they can help treat depression.
How Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help Treat Depression Omega-3s are one class of essential fatty acids, meaning that we have to have these in our diet, and these are not so easy to get because there aren’t that many dietary resources of them; the best one being oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, so forth. We need these in adequate amounts every day for optimum health and it’s not just physical health, it’s for mental health. There are two omega-3 fatty acids called EPA and DHA; both are necessary. DHA is the main constituent of cell membranes in the brain and it looks as if, if you’ve got inadequate omega-3s in the diet and not getting enough DHA, it leaves the brain susceptible to all sorts of problems. And it appears that omega-3 deficiency is a significant cause of depression, and it affects, really, all kinds of depressions—bipolar depression, unipolar depression, postpartum depression , seasonal affective disorder. So, making sure that you are getting adequate omega-3 intake is a very important way to both prevent and treat depression.