Is low dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids associated with depression?

Am J Psychiatry. 2004 Mar;161(3):567-9. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.161.3.567.


Objective: This study examined the association between the dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids and low mood, major depression, and suicide.

Method: A total of 29,133 men ages 50 to 69 years participated in a population-based trial in Finland. The intake of fatty acids and fish consumption were calculated from a diet history questionnaire. Self-reported depressed mood was recorded three times annually, data on hospital treatments due to a major depressive disorder were derived from the National Hospital Discharge Register, and suicides were identified from death certificates.

Results: There were no associations between the dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids or fish consumption and depressed mood, major depressive episodes, or suicide.

Conclusions: Dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids showed no association with low mood level.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Depression / mortality
  • Depression / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / etiology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / mortality
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Diet Records
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3