People who include seafood several times a week in their diets are at lowest risk for depression, according to a study from the Medical College of Qingdao University in China. In this meta-analysis of 26 studies involving 150,278 people, the researchers found that those who consumed the most seafood had up to a 17% lower risk of depression compared to those who ate little or no fish. The researchers speculate that the omega-3 fats, DHA and EPA, in fish might change the structure of brain membranes or alter the way neurotransmitters work.
In Perspective: Depression affects 350 million people worldwide and is the leading cause of disability, according to the World Health Organization. As our eating habits took a nose-dive in the past few decades, the rates of depression skyrocketed. An American born 100 years ago had a 1% chance of depression in her/his lifetime. Today there is a 2000-fold increase in that, with a rate of 19%.
Li F, Liu X, Zhang D: Fish consumption and risk of depression. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 2015;September 10th.