Increased consumption of omega-3 fats is widely promoted globally because of a common belief that it will protect against conditions such as anxiety and depression, but researchers have now found that fish oil supplements have little or no effect on such conditions. Omega-3 is a type of fat. Small amounts are essential for good health and can be found in the food that we eat including nuts and seeds and fatty fish, such as salmon.
More than 41,470 participants were randomized to consume more long-chain omega-3 fats (fish oils), or maintain their usual intake, for at least six months They found that the supplements had little or no effect in preventing depression or anxiety symptoms.
"Oily fish can be a very nutritious food as part of a balanced diet but we found that there is no demonstrable value in people taking omega-3 oil supplements for the prevention or treatment of depression and anxiety," said study researcher Katherine Deane.