Eating a lot of fish may help curb the risk of depression in both men and women, reveals a pooled analysis of the available evidence.
After pooling all the European data together, a significant association emerged between those eating the most fish and a 17 percent reduction in depression risk compared with those eating the least.
When the researchers looked specifically at gender, they found a slightly stronger association between high fish consumption and lowered depression risk in men (20 percent).
Among women, the associated reduction in depression risk was 16 percent.
“Higher fish consumption may be beneficial in the primary prevention of depression. Future studies are needed to further investigate whether this association varies according to the type of fish”
Several previous studies have looked at the possible role of dietary factors in modifying depression risk, but the findings have been inconsistent and inconclusive.
“The high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals found in fish may help stave off depression while eating a lot of fish may be an indicator of a healthy and more nutritious diet,” the researchers suggested.
Depression affects an estimated 350 million people worldwide, and is projected to become the second leading cause of ill health by 2020.