Fish could be the new natural anti-depressant, according to a new study. Researchers from China recently discovered a clear correlation between fish-laden diet and mental health in both men and women. The findings have been published in Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.
A research team from the Medical College of Qingdao University in China finds that fish might have been a dietary anti-depressant for thousands of people in the past. They came to this conclusion after they gathered data from 26 studies conducted between 2001 and 2014 with the aim to analysing the correlation between fish consumption and rates of depression. From the studies, 12 demonstrated a “significant association between fish consumption and depression.”
Those participants consuming the most fish had a 17 % lower risk of developing depression as opposed to those who ate the least.
Furthermore, men had a 20 % lower risk of depression while women only had a 16 % decreased risk.
Based on their results, the researchers believe that fish could be incorporated into techniques dealing with prevention of depression.
Why does fish seem to have such a beneficial impact on the health of the brain? Researchers have not yet uncovered the underlying mechanisms. It is speculated that the high amount of protein, vitamins and minerals in fish might account for the apparent anti-depression properties. But, indeed, more research needs to be done to have a clear idea.
“Higher fish consumption may be beneficial in the primary prevention of depression,” write the authors. “Future studies are needed to further investigate whether this association varies according to the type of fish.”