Omega fatty acids, folic acid and vitamin B12 all helped people feel better, in several new studies.
Researchers in a pregnancy study thought that the chances of depression increase as the developing baby draws down mom’s omega-3 levels. Doctors followed about 40 depressed and non-depressed women in their third trimester and found that those with high levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), those with high total omega-3 levels, and those whose omega-6 levels were lower than their omega-3 levels were all much less likely to be depressed.
In a depression study, researchers examined the diets of about 4,900 men and women, aged 25 to 74, and followed up for 11 years. Among men, as the level of omega-6 linoleic fatty acids increased, so did the chances of depression. Among women, as the level of omega-9 oleic fatty acids increased, the chances of depression decreased. Omega-6 levels are high in processed foods made with palm and soy oils, omega-9 levels are high in olive oil, and doctors believe omegas-3, -6 and -9, which are essential, need to be in balance.
In another depression study, doctors measured folic acid and vitamin B12 in the diets of about 9,700 adults. Among male smokers, those who got more folic acid were less likely to be depressed than those who got the least. Women who got the most vitamin B12 were much less likely to be depressed than were women who got the least.