How much omega 3 per day for depression?
Omega-3 doses for depression range from less than 1000 mg/day to 10000 mg/day, but most researchers use doses between 1000 mg and 2000 mg/day. Most experts recommend 1 to 2 g/day of an EPA+DHA combination, with at least 60% EPA, for depression.
In this article, we look more at doses of omega-3 for helping to improve mood and mindset with how much of omega-3 is needed to help against depression.
Below, we’ll see if omega-3 improves mood, if it works for anxiety, and if omega-3 itself can cause depression if it is administered as fish oil.
This is what you need to know…
Does Omega 3 improve mood?
Yes, there is thought that omega-3 may help to improve mood. Omega-3s have been seen to easily travel to your brain cell membrane and interact with molecules in your brain which are related to mood.
The anti-inflammatory aspect of omega-3 may also help to some extent to relieve the symptoms of depression.
There are numerous meta-analyses out there (which is basically an overview of multiple studies to judge the results) which show that omega-3s can help to some extent with mood and depression. However, the doses are so variable, as well as the ratios of EPA to DHA that it is hard to find what works the best.
A lot of research leans towards 60% EPA and 40% DHA in an omega-3 serving seems to work the best for mood and depression. DHA isn’t as effective as EPA for depression but it does have protective effects which have been seen to help reduce suicidal feelings.
Omega-3 seems to respond better in individuals who are overweight and struggling with depression due to its antiinflammatory properties.
How much Omega 3 should I take for anxiety?
Research finds that individuals who take high doses of omega-3s (up to 2 g a day) seem to have the biggest reduction in symptoms of anxiety. Omega–3 fatty acids, which are typically derived from fish oil, have a number of biological effects in the body – affecting your mood being one of them.
This information comes from 19 different studies which involved 1200 people. There’s a theory with brain membranes containing a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids that a deficiency in these fats may lead to behavioral and psychiatric disorders.
Although there isn’t any aggressively conclusive evidence to prove that omega-3 can treat anxiety, there’s certainly quite a few studies out at the moment that seem to support the idea of omega-3 helping with anxiety when supplemented at the right dosage.
Can fish oil cause depression?
Potentially. Some users who take too much fish oil may actually notice interference with their sleep which could contribute to insomnia. In one case study, individuals taking a high dose of fish oil exacerbated symptoms of insomnia and anxiety for a patient with a history of depression.
There is some evidence out there which shows that taking too much fish oil can lead to problems with your sleep. It’s easy to see how you can get to depression if you are not sleeping well. Individuals suffering from insomnia tend not to be the most cheery bunch.
Considering there is some case study evidence showing that too much fish oil not only triggers sleeping issues but also increases feelings of anxiety – you can see how quickly this could spiral into depression.
In conclusion, we would say it seems likely that too much fish oil could lead to depression – however, more research is needed to know for sure.
Omega-3 for Depression: Dosage
Omega-3 seems to have some benefits when it comes to using it for depression, but there is not enough information out there at the moment to draw conclusive results. The safe dosage appears to be around 1000 – 2000 mg per day when using omega-3 for depression although some experts suggest you can go as high as 10,000 mg per day.
However, we have a feeling that this may open you up to side effects from the supplement. If you’re looking to treat your depression with omega-3, we strongly suggest that you speak to your doctor before taking further action.
If you decide to supplement omega-3 to treat depression, it seems that staying at the safe levels of 1000 – 2000 mg per serving with a 60 – 40 split of EPA to DHA seems to be the way to go.