Eating fish boosts antidepressant response

Eating more fatty fish could increase the effects of antidepressants in patients who do not respond to the treatment, according to researchers.

Eating fish can boost antidepressant response
Eating fish can boost antidepressant response

Up to half of patients who suffer from depression do not respond to treatment with SSRIs, but Dutch research has found that this could be reversed by eating a diet high in fatty fish.

Researchers from the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam found that fatty acid metabolism disrupts the way stress hormones are regulated, which in turn affects antidepressant response.

They compared 70 initially unmedicated patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) with 51 matched control patients without the condition. After six weeks of SSRI treatment, the MDD patients showed signs of abnormal fatty acid metabolism, suggesting this was a symptom of MDD.

Fish intake link

How much fatty acid-rich fish the patients ate was also investigated.

The researchers found that those who ate fatty fish at least once a week had a 75% chance of responding to SSRIs, while those who never did had just a 23% chance of responding. This suggested that fatty acid metabolism could be modified through fish intake, thereby improving SSRI response rates.

Lead author Dr Roel Mocking said: ‘We were looking for biological alterations that could explain depression and antidepressant non-response, so we combined two apparently unrelated measures: metabolism of fatty acids and stress hormone regulation.

‘Our findings suggest that measures of fatty acid metabolism, and their association with stress hormone regulation, might be of use in the clinic as an early indicator of future antidepressant response. Moreover, fatty acid metabolism could be influenced by eating fish, which may be a way to improve antidepressant response rates.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Beccy Baird, senior fellow, King's Fund

PCNs need more support to recruit and integrate additional roles staff

General practice and PCNs need more support to integrate additional roles staff into...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: What does the future hold for primary care networks?

Talking General Practice speaks to Beccy Baird from the King's Fund about how PCNs...

Vaccination tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

BMA chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul

'Premature' scrapping of Plan B risks fresh spike in COVID-19 infections

Government plans to scrap Plan B measures from 27 January are premature and threaten...

NHS logo on tiled wall

GP recruitment and funding at risk from delayed ICS start date

General practice recruitment and access to funding could be disrupted by confusion...

CQC chief inspector of primary medical services Dr Rosie Benneyworth

CQC process may 'disadvantage' ethnic minority-led GP practices, regulator admits

GP practices led by doctors from ethnic minorities may be 'disadvantaged' by the...