High Fish Consumption Linked to Lower Risk of Depression

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Fang Li

Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, The Medical College of Qingdao University, Qingdao, Shandong Province, People’s Republic of China

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Fish, rich in multiple beneficial nutrients, including  n-3 polyunsaturated fattyacids, high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals, have been hypothesized to protect against chronic diseases generally , such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Depression is a common mental health disorder,with an estimated 350 million people affected. We hypothesis that fish consumption may be benefical in depression prevention. Several epidemiological studies have investigated associations between fish intake and depression risk, but the findings are inconsistent. Therefore we conducted a meta-analysis to expect to find this association.

A total of 26 studies involving 150 278 participants were included in the present meta-analysis.The pooled relative risk of depression for the highest versus lowest consumption of fish was 0.83 (95% CI 0.74 to 0.93). The findings remained significant in the cohort studies.This meta-analysis indicates that high-fish consumption can reduce the risk of depression.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: We conducted our study in general population, but not depression patients. The study indicated that high consumption of fish could reduce the incidence of depression in general population. Therefore we cannot give some points to clinicians and patients. We suggests that people should eat more fish to prevent depression risk in general population.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Our study indicated that high consumption of fish could reduce the risk of depression. However, we did not differentiate fish type because of the limited available studies. Future studies are needed to further investigate whether this association varies according to the type of fish. Furthermore,  which nutrients in fish  responsible for the protective effect should be found out . More studies are needed for the dose-response relationship between fish consumption and risk of depression.


Fish consumption and risk of depression: a meta-analysis

Fang Li, Xiaoqin Liu, Dongfeng Zhang

J Epidemiol Community Health jech-2015-206278Published Online First: 10 September 2015doi:10.1136/jech-2015-206278

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