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

Practices handed one-month opt-out window as revamped network DES unveiled

Practices handed one-month opt-out window as revamped network DES unveiled

NHS England has unveiled a revamped DES package for 2020/21 confirming new targets,...

GPs delivered huge rise in face-to-face consultations in week before NHS England letter

GPs delivered huge rise in face-to-face consultations in week before NHS England letter

GPs delivered a huge increase in face-to-face appointments in the week before NHS...

RCGP facing legal action over stance on assisted dying

RCGP facing legal action over stance on assisted dying

The RCGP is facing legal action over its decision to remain opposed to assisted dying...

Medeconomics Live aims to help practices thrive under the new GP contract

Medeconomics Live aims to help practices thrive under the new GP contract

The one-day, virtual Medeconomics Live conference aims to provide practices with...

GPs face wave of abuse and complaints after NHS England face-to-face appointments claims

GPs face wave of abuse and complaints after NHS England face-to-face appointments claims

GP practices have faced a wave of abuse and complaints after a letter from NHS England...

Government denies plan to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of COVID-19 testing

Government denies plan to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of COVID-19 testing

The government has denied plans to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of the struggling COVID-19...