​​​​Can Omega 3 Help With Depression?

What is the link between omega 3 and depression?

Think of Omega 3 as brain food that helps create a happier brain.

The overall idea with Omega 3 is that your brain is composed primarily of fat, and that by getting plenty of omega 3 fatty acids you’re getting brain food that helps build and repair your brain.

The result is that you enjoy a healthier, happier, better-functioning brain, which helps you become and remain depression-free faster and easier.

The trick is knowing how much Omega 3 to take in order to produce this beneficial effect.

What is the recommended dose of omega 3 for depression?

What is the best omega 3 supplement for depression, and what is the recommended dosage?

In “The Depression Cure”, Dr. Stephen Ilardi recommends taking omega 3 supplements that:

  • are molecularly distilled
  • combine EPA and DHA in a 2:1 ratio
  • provide enough EPA and DHA so that you can get at least 1,000 mg of EPA and 500 mg of DHA daily

While there are tons of Omega 3 supplements on the market, you’ll find that many of them are useless and do not meet these criteria. So it’s all about looking at the labels to get supplements that will benefit you, without paying a ton of money.

Of course, it’s a good idea to be smart and consult with your doctor before taking any supplements or significantly altering your diet.

Do you need omega 3 supplements?

If you would prefer to not take supplements, you can get omega 3 fatty acids in your natural diet, like by eating plenty of fish (again, the trick is to know that you’re getting enough EPA and DHA in a helpful ratio).

Overall, it’s probably easier getting a good amount of omega 3 via supplements, but it’s helpful to know that you definitely can find other ways to get enough omega 3.

How fast does omega 3 work?

Most studies will tell you that it takes about two or three weeks of taking enough omega 3 every day, before you start seeing the benefits of it. 

Keep in mind that you can get rid of depression much faster than this, which is already an indication that while omega 3 is helpful as a strategy for becoming and remaining depression-free, it is not the most important thing for eliminating depression.

Indeed, as always, improving your thinking is the most important and powerful factor for eliminating depression for good.

Does omega 3 cure depression?

If you start getting more omega 3 fatty acids, either via supplements or your natural diet, that’s great. After all, it’s one of the 6 Depression-Free Changes that will help you get rid of depression faster and easier.

But keep in mind that the most important factor for eliminating depression is to replace negative thoughts with more positive thoughts.

If you continue thinking negative, depressing thoughts like “My life is awful” and “I will never be happy again”, you will continue to remain depressed, no matter how much omega 3 you take.

Yes, you might have fed your brain more valuable nutrients, to help create a physically better brain, but you’re still using that brain to think negative thoughts that depress you, which means you’ll continue to be depressed.

On the other hand, if you improve your thinking and you get enough omega 3, you’ll get out of depression even faster and easier. So that’s exactly what you want to do.

Omega 3 vs. placebo effect

Remember, every antidepressant drug trial shows that there is a strong placebo effect when you take something that you think will help you eliminate depression.

For example, if you give a person a sugar pill and tell him that it’s medicine that will help cure his depression, he will likely stop being depressed when he takes the sugar pill.

This is because his thinking changes from “I can’t get rid of depression” to “I can stop being depressed now”, and this change in attitude makes him feel better and gives him more confidence, which naturally helps him get rid of depression.

If you take omega 3 every day, there will undoubtedly be a placebo effect.

That is, you will believe that you can get rid of depression faster and easier due to taking omega 3 supplements, and this positive belief will help you feel better about your situation and give you more confidence. This, in turn, will help you get rid of depression faster and easier.

Why address the placebo effect for omega 3?

The first reason I want you to be aware of the placebo effect for omega 3 is because I want you to always apprecate that your thinking is by far the most powerful factor for eliminating depression.

So if you start taking omega 3 supplements and start feeling better fast, give yourself credit first and foremost for the improvement in your condition. Not the supplements. Okay?

Secondly, I want you to appreciate that studies show that omega 3 supplements consistently beat the placebo effect in trials, which is something that most antidepressants never do!

As Dr. Stephen Ilardi says, “Even though antidepressant medications often fail to outperform placebos in head-to-head comparison studies, omega-3 supplementation has proven superior to placebos in most published studies from around the world.” (The Depression Cure, p. 74)

In other words, when you take omega 3 supplements, there will be a placebo effect, but you’ll receive more of a benefit than just the placebo effect. And most antidepressants cannot make that claim.

Try omega 3 and see if it helps you

For all these reasons you’ve just learned, omega 3 is an important part of becoming and remaining depression-free faster and easier.

As a final thought, be aware that different studies about omega 3 can come to different conclusions about its effectiveness, depending on the ratio between EPA and DHA. As Dr. Stephen Ilardi reports, “every published study that’s combined EPA and DHA in a roughly 2:1 ratio has seen an impressive antidepressant effect”. (The Depression Cure, p. 76)

So if you buy omega 3 supplements, be sure to pay attention to this ratio. It’s important.

Speaking from personal experience, I found getting a lot more omega 3 to be extremely helpful when I was first teaching myself to eliminate depression for good. And I believe that there is much more to omega 3 than just the placebo effect, which is why I recommend it as a strategy for becoming and remaining depression-free.

The best thing to do is to simply try it and see if it works for you. You have a lot to gain and nothing to lose. So if you haven’t started doing so already, make sure you start getting enough omega 3 today.

Next: How Does Sunlight Affect Depression? →

You are here:

Section 5 Lessons:

  1. How to get rid of negative thoughts and depression
  2. How to stop ruminating & dwelling on negative thoughts
  3. Can omega 3 help with depression?
  4. How does sunlight affect depression?
  5. Can exercise help depression?
  6. Does social interaction help depression?
  7. Is sleep good for depression?

Next Section In The Depression-Free Course:

Section 6

About the author

Hi, I'm Dave Fonvielle, the founder of Always Greater. On this website I teach you step by step how to be happier and more successful achieving your goals, whether it's completing a small personal to do task, like doing the dishes, or a large business goal, like launching a new product. Get my free 3 Tiny Habits for Being Happier & More Successful training for all of this right here.