Fish can lower the risk of depression, say Chinese researchers, citing a sample study that involved 150 out of 278 participants.
Fish, known for its Omega 3 fatty acids, can stimulate dopamine and serotonin levels in the human brain and these chemicals are major players in triggering depression. Several anti-depressant drugs such as SSRIs are manufactured to work directly to stimulate serotonin levels in the brain.
Further, fish is known to have vital vitamins and nutrients in wholesome compared to other meat or vegetables, they argue that fish are an excellent source of protein, said Chinese researchers, whose findings were published in the Journal of Epidemology and Community Health.
The average reduction of the risk among the participants was around 17 percent due to fish consumption. The scientists compared the data from 26 separate studies, involving a total of 150, 278 participants during the period from 2001 to 2004 and the people included from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania.
“Higher fish consumption may be beneficial in the primary prevention of depression,” said Prof. Dongfeng Zhang of of Qingdao University. “Future studies are needed to further investigate whether this association varies according to the type of fish.”
The study showed that effect of fish on men is more than women as men reported 20% reduction in the risk of depression compared to 16% in women. Other inconsistencies include the revelation that fish consumption seemed to have a far greater impact on European depression levels.
The researchers attribute the inconsistencies to fish type, fish preservation, and cooking styles.
Depression currently affects 350 million people across the globe and the treatment is not satisfactory owing to poor compliance rates and undesirable consequences. While society is fast becoming isolated, many people find it difficult to cope with it and take to Facebook and other incognito modes of life which lead to loneliness and depression.
Recently, Bollywoaod actress Deepika Padukone came out openly saying that she does undergo depression and vouched to fight the trauma in society and help people overcome it.