I come from a family where depression runs on both sides. Both moderate and severe.

Knowing people that are depressed, and prone to being depressed…it’s not a subject that you can readily generalize.

The average social perception is that depressed people are “sad”, but it goes far beyond that.

I cannot speak to the depressed state of mind, but having known people so well, they are in a state of both apathy, and extreme friction with the world.

Depression is anger turned inwards, in a way. And it makes you SINK, the deeper it becomes.

What the hell does this have to do with fish oil of all things?

Fish Oil can alleviate depression. A LOT.

Scroll down to the human effect matrix, and you will see this

I was surprised by this today. I was updating my supplement recommendations, and I realized I had no idea fish oil had this effect on depression. There are 23 studies supporting the effect. That’s fairly compelling evidence. I’ve taken fish oil myself for its anti-inflammatory effects, but I’d never considered its effects on mood. 

The question of arises of how could this work? Isn’t depression psychological?

It is, but this requires you to reorder what you think “psychological” means. The functionality of human conscious has been, for a long time, completely separated by western medicine and social attitude from the body.

This goes back to centuries to Rene Descartes “Mind-Body Separation”.

The mind is a distinct entity. The body is a distinct entity.

This makes sense to people. It appeals to our tendency to think in binary terms and view reality as a balance of opposites.

The issue though is that this paradigm does not hold up when tested. It does not hold up when studied. It does not hold up because in thousands of years of medicine, and hundreds of years of medical research since then, science has been continuously and constantly frustrated by the fuzziness of trying to separate mind from body.

The paradigm, despite its prevalence, it never WORKS. Trying to define the border of the “mind” from the physical body, there ISNT ONE. Despite there being hundreds of medical specialties, specialists are confounded 24/7 by the effects of OTHER parts of the body outside of their specialty.

The more the body gets broken down into small parts, the less the parts make any sense at all.

You can, and this has been proven, THINK your way into a stronger immune system, greater physical strength, and promote healing of wounds. By thinking.

The placebo effect has been tested with everything from knee surgery to psychiatric drugs.

People’s health will IMPROVE simply by them BELIEVING they were given a medicine.

Their body does the work, following their belief.

Where is the border to that? You are never going to find out.

Depression then, no, it’s not just “in your head”. It’s your whole being. In Depressed people, their levels of systemic inflammation are elevated. Their immune systems are lowered also. Is the inflammation because of the depression? Or the cause of it? It is unclear, but the evidence is there for a connection. People with inflammatory diseases are far more likely to get depressed.

It’s also evident that GUT HEALTH plays a role in depression. How much? Science doesn’t know, it’s all fuzzy, like everything else. But the connection is there. Gut health tends to determine immune system health.

So by lowering inflammation, and improving gut health, we can perhaps lower depressive symptoms.

(As a side note, if you have wondered why exercise helps depression, it’s because it improves inflammatory response function and strengthens the immune system. Exercise makes your body better at healing itself)

This takes us, in a very roundabout way, to fish oil.

Fish oil alleviates systemic inflammation. All the cytokines and molecules that make you ache and not feel well, it lowers those. So it has a double effect of lowering inflammation, and with lower inflammation, you are less likely to feel depressed.

If you are wondering how inflammation affects the brain, it’s because your brain reacts to the state of your body, 24/7 365. Your body also reacts to the state of your brain/thinking. Where is the dividing line?

There isn’t one. You are constantly in a state of existence in which your physical function and conscious and unconscious perception are coordinating with each other to keep you alive and functioning. Everything affects everything else.

So, conclusion,

It would be scientifically supported to try supplementing with fish oil if depression is something you experience. 2-6 grams daily, taken with meals, this is the sweet spot range for dosing. 

Citadel Nutrition is the brand I regularly use. I’ve never gotten fish burps with them (you know what Im talking about if you’ve ever taken rancid fish oil tablets), and their products are second to none in quality. 

Questions? Let me know,

And talk again soon,

Alexander