Harvard study: Fish oil doesn’t prevent depression

Fish oil (omega-3 fatty acid) supplements are sometimes used to help prevent heart disease, treat inflammatory conditions, and manage existing depression. But fish oil doesn’t prevent depression in healthy older adults, according to a randomized study led by Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Olivia Okereke and published online Dec. 21, 2021, by JAMA. Researchers studied about 18,000 depression-free adults (ages 50 or older) for five to seven years. About half were assigned to take a daily 1,000-miligram fish oil supplement. The other half took a placebo (an inactive pill). “This is the largest and longest randomized trial of fish oil in the prevention of depression. We found that it didn’t reduce depressive symptoms or boost mood in healthy older adults, and the supplements shouldn’t be used for this express purpose,” says Dr. JoAnn Manson, the study’s senior author and chief of preventive medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. There may be other approaches that help stave off depression, such as getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating a plant-based diet, and staying socially connected — though we don’t have conclusive evidence any of these strategies work. “But we know a healthy lifestyle is tremendously important for preventing many chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and many forms of cancer,” Manson says.

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

Psalm 91:1-16 ESV
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, …

Matthew 25:13 ESV
Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

Psalm 30:5 ESV
For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Matthew 24:1-51 ESV
Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. …

1 Corinthians 15:51 ESV
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

Mark 16:16 ESV
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Mark 14:26 ESV
And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

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