There May Be A Mental Health Reason To Eat More Fish

By: Agata Blaszczak Boxe
Published: 09/11/2015 10:45 AM EDT on LiveScience

People who eat a lot of fish may have a slightly lower risk of depression, according to a new analysis of previous studies.

In their analysis, researchers looked at 26 studies that involved a total of 150,278 people and examined the relationship between depression and the consumption of fish. Ten of the studies were conducted in Europe and seven were done in North America, with the remaining ones conducted in Asia, Oceania and South America.

When the researchers analyzed the studies conducted in Europe, they found that the people who consumed the most fish had a 17 percent lower risk of depression than those who ate the least amount of fish.

“Higher fish consumption may be beneficial in the primary prevention of depression,” the researchers wrote in the study. [7 Ways Depression Differs in Men and Women]

When the researchers analyzed all the data by gender, they found that the men who ate the most fish had a 20 percent lower risk of depression than those who ate the least amount of fish. In women who ate the most fish, their risk of depression was reduced by 16 percent, compared to the women who ate the least fish.

Although the associations between high fish consumption and lower depression risk were found for the studies conducted in Europe, they were not found for the studies conducted in the other continents, the researchers noted. “This might [be] because a smaller number of participants cannot reach statistical significance easily,” said study author Fang Li of Qingdao University in Shandong, China.

Because the studies included in the analysis were observational (the researchers did not, for example, ask people to start eating more fish and measure the effects), a cause-and-effect relationship between fish consumption and the risk of —> Read More

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