Fish Oil & Depression

Natural Support for Depression and Mood Disorders

Depression is complex.

But occasionally, it’s caused by nutritional deficiencies, be it Vitamin D or Omega-3 deficiency.

Depression and other mood disorders are a result of complex situations, many of which are beyond our control. In the last few years, scientists have begun to understand more about anxiety, mood disorders and depression. We may not have all the answers yet, but we know a lot more about it now.

A Light Bulb Moment

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Scientific Research on fish oil and depression.

A scientific light bulb went off in the late 1990s when a British medical journal reported that depression is virtually absent in places like Japan and Iceland, where people eat a lot of fish. Conversely, depression was high in countries where fish consumption was low.

In 1999, a major study from Harvard Medical School revealed that an Omega-3 EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) had a very positive effect on mood. There are two Omega-3 fatty acids – EPA and DHA. Omega-3 DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) is important for brain and eye development in children, but has very little, if any, benefit for mood and mental health.

fish oil depression

Fish Oil & Depression: How EPA Omega-3 Works

Since 1999, there have been a few dozen successful trials of Omega-3 EPA. The studies have shown that persons with depression have very low EPA Omega-3 levels in their blood. Omega-3 fatty acids are an important part of nerve cell membranes. They help nerve cells communicate with each other. This is an important part of maintaining good mental health. (Technical Explanation: EPA Omega-3 makes you happy by modulation of serotonin turnover and phosphoinositol-mediated signal transduction, and L-type calcium channel regulation.)

Studies show that Omega-3 supplements can reduce the risk of:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Aggression
  • Adult ADHD
  • Schizophrenia

What’s Happened to Our Diet?

During the last century, our diet has drastically changed. We went from getting most of our fats from fish, nuts and seeds to animal fat and from vegetable oils. And more recently, from Omega-6 fats from processed foods. This has virtually eliminated Omega-3 from our supermarkets.

The Natural Solution

Over 60% of a healthy brain is Omega-3. Is it any wonder that we have mental health issues when we don’t eat enough Omega-3?

Fish Oil & Depression:

OmegaVia is specifically formulated with high-EPA fish oil that’s ideal for supporting good mental health. Just one to two softgels a day will give you all the EPA Omega-3 you need.


  1. Shannon Macri-Meriden,Ct says

    I eat a very balanced diet and understand how healthy eating habits can help with depression. I often wonder how much worse my depression would be if I ate like the average american eats on a daily basis. It’s a terrible thought.

  2. E. K. Humphreys says

    My opthamologist prescribed omega 3 for my dry eyes. I noticed a difference within a couple days. I also started taking D3. After 6 weeks my level of anxiety has reduced and my depression has lifted considerably. I would never have believed this could make such a difference in my life!

    • Vin Kutty says

      Hi E.K. – this is great! It’s wonderful that you noticed a difference in dry eyes in just a couple of days – usually takes a week or two. I strongly believe that people should correct their Omega-3, Vit D and Magnesium deficiency with diet and supplements before attempting any of the prescription antidepressants, especially for mild to moderate cases. More here:

  3. melissa says

    Hi Vin,

    Its only been a week that Ive been taking Omegavia EPA 500 but *feel* like my anxiety and depression has lessened. Might be too soon to tell completely, but I was wondering if this particular fish oil supplement is ok to give to an 8 year old (he can swallow these smaller sized pills ok). He has OCD and Im wondering if this EPA only formula could help. Dosage if so?

    • Vin Kutty says

      Hi Melissa – improvements in a week is probably too soon, but if you still continue to notice improvements over the next few weeks, you may be onto something.

      Yes, it is OK to give to an 8-year old child, assuming they can easily swallow it. Again, Omega-3’s effect on OCD is not as clear as it is with ADHD, so you will have to just watch for signs of improvement if any. Even if OCD does not improve, you may see some other health improvements.

    • Amanda Witmer says

      Melissa, I feel like Fish oil and exercise has made my OCD go down from 90 percent to about 20 or 30 percent. I do take 4 grams of EPA per day though right now (around 145 lbs).

  4. Tom says

    Today I bought Nordic Naturals EPA Elite hoping to take the edge off my depressed nature. Will you offer a comparison to your EPA 500. I ask because because I’m a small business owner and I try to buy everything from other small businesses (even when I travel). I do internet shop but only if there’s a clear and compelling reason to do so. Does your EPA 500 fall into that category? I know it’s better priced but I’m more interested in the quality comparison.

    By the way, the blog write-up on your daughter eating/sharing the sow bug was hilarious. Thanks for the laugh.

    • Vin Kutty, MS says

      Hi Tom – there are few differences.

      1. OmegaVia EPA 500 has 500 mg of EPA per pill (small pill) while Nordic Naturals EPA Elite has 800 mg of EPA per pill (large pill). Both products have roughly equal potency/concentration.
      2. OmegaVia EPA 500 uses a form of fish oil called ethyl esters (EE). Nordic Naturals uses a form called rTG (re-esterified triglyceride). EE costs a lot less but needs to be taken with food. rTG cost about twice as much (or more) but can be taken on an empty stomach. Marketers of both types of products argue a lot on internet forums about which is better. My opinion is that in the long run, if you take these pills with meals, there is not much difference other than cost.
      3. EPA 500 is enteric coated to prevent burps. Nordic Elite is not enteric-coated.

      As far as comparing quality, the word ‘elite’ is probably appropriate to apply to both products. Both products use the absolute latest technology to purify and concentrate. I would not worry about Nordic’s quality at all. We have tested the contents of the pill and what they say is in there…is in there.

      You may want to read this as well:

  5. celia j says

    im also struggling with depression and omega 3 concentrate helped me alot my vision changed in a days time of taking 2 a day and im feeling a bit better but now. my question is why feeling normal again only feel like a sudden memory or when i breath in i feel like i used to and then that feeling of being alive is gone it happens a few times a day for a few seconds!is it the prose’s of healing and signals are working up there or is it only my memories of feeling alive and not depressed im not taking anti depressants b cos all ive used has made my condition worse.please help

    • Vin Kutty, MS says

      Hi Celia – I don’t have a good answer for you. But my guess is that it took your body a long time to get depressed and it will probably take some time to get better and back to functioning normally. So perhaps this is a process. I don’t know anyone who took Omega-3 and felt a night-and-day difference right away…it is slow and it will require that you address several other factors that made you depressed. Some of those factors could be other nutritional inadequacies, lifestyle factors, emotional trauma, genetics etc. You will have to address all of the root causes before you can FULLY feel better. Omega-3 is just a small (but very essential) part of good health.

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