The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Fish consumption, omega-3, and the risk of depression

    The evidence is conflicting.

    So, researchers from the National Institute for Health and Welfare, in Kuopio, Finland surveyed their countrymen.

    First, the details.

    • Researchers used data from 6757 people in the nationwide Health 2000 Survey and the Fishermen Study on Finnish professional fishermen and their family members.
    • Data were based on questionnaires, interviews, health examinations, and blood samples.
    • Depressive episodes were assessed with the M-CIDI (the Munich version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview) and a self-report of 2 CIDI probe questions, respectively.
    • Fish consumption was measured by a food frequency questionnaire.
    • Dietary intake (g/day) and blood levels (% from fatty acids) of omega-3 fatty acids were determined.

    And, the results.

    • Fish consumption was associated with a lower prevalence of depressive episodes in men but not in women.
      • Depressive episodes decreased significantly from 9% to 5% from greatest to least fish consumption (g/day) in men of the Health 2000 Survey.
      • And significantly from 7% to 3% across the quartiles of fish consumption (times/month) among men in the Fishermen Study.
    • Alcohol, occasional or former smokers, or intermediate physical activity further lowered the prevalence of depression.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “In men, fish consumption appears as a surrogate for underlying but unidentified lifestyle factors that protect against depression.”

    5/19/10 19:16 JR

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