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High levels of fish intake linked to lower odds of depression

29 Aug 2018

Adults who frequently eat fish are less likely to have depression, and this benefit is particularly pronounced among women, a study suggests.

The study included 9,183 adults (mean age 40.8 years; 60.8 percent female) who participated in the 6th Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2013–2015). All participants completed questionnaires detailing fish consumption and depression status.

A total of 389 adults (4.2 percent) were diagnosed with depression. The frequency of fish consumption was <1 time/wk in 1,751 individuals, 1–3 times/wk in 4,361 and 4 times/wk in 3,071.

Multivariable logistic regression models showed that relative to consumption frequency of <1 time/wk, higher frequencies were associated with reduced odds of depression (1–3 times/week: odds ratio [OR], 0.76; 95 percent CI, 0.56–1.04; ≥4 times/week: OR, 0.52; 0.37–0.74; p=0.0005 for trend).

Notably, the association for the highest frequency of fish consumption was strong in women (≥4 vs <1 time/wk: OR, 0.44; 0.29–0.67; p<0.0001 for trend) but not evident in men.

Mechanisms underlying the possible beneficial role of fish consumption on depression, while unclear, may involve omega-3 fatty acids, as researchers pointed out.

The deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids reportedly leads to increased serotonin 2 (5-HT2) and decreased dopamine 2 (D2) receptor density in the frontal cortex. In turn, higher density of postsynaptic 5-HT2 receptor binding sites in the frontal cortex has been shown to be present among depressed suicide victims. Moreover, eicosapentaenoic acid may help reduce inflammation, which is believed to be related to depression. [J Affect Disco 2013;150:736-744]

Further studies are required to verify the inverse association between fish consumption and risk of depression among adults, researchers said.

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Most Read Articles
Pearl Toh, 10 Oct 2019
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2 days ago
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