Volume 11, Issue 67 August 20, 2014

Death of Robin Williams brings
depression front and center

The sad death of Robin Williams has brought attention to a condition that people don't have to suffer through. Much of the reporting about Williams' suicide has focused on his ongoing bouts with depression. Unfortunately, many in mainstream medicine have relied on drugs to treat depression. When they dare to try nutrients, they tend to use fish oil. This is a big mistake.


A recent report from Harvard researchers found that omega-3 fatty acids can prevent depression. However, this report emphasized the benefit comes from ALA, the parent omega-3 and NOT fish oil.

I've previously reported that marine oils have been found to alleviate depression in some studies. I've also told you that I now believe that most, if not all benefits attributed to marine oils, largely occur in people who are simply globally deficient in the omega-3 series (meaning a deficiency of parent omega-3 or ALA). Stuffing people suffering from depression with fish oil will get them some of the derivatives (EPA and DHA) their bodies would be making on their own were they getting sufficient parent oils. This Harvard report, as others, rubberstamps my position. Here, the long chain marine oils intake did NOT reduce depression!

Wow, this presented a nice head to head PEO vs. marine oil study on thousands of people. The article also suggests the ratio of ALA to LA (parent omega-6) is related to depression risk. Less LA intake boosted the protective effect of more ALA. This study was prospective and followed 54,632 women between 50 and 77 who were free of depressive symptoms at baseline. Each 0.5 gms of ALA intake reduced risk of depressive symptoms by 18% over 10 years.

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I don't know if Robin Williams was taking fish oil or not. And I don't know for sure that plant omega-3 would have cured him. Depression has many causes. But it's possible it could have helped. And I do know that there's no need to take more expensive marine oils, with the potential for toxins, rancid oils, and overdosing on the long chain derivatives, when parent oils do the job. That's what the research is telling us. And, that's why I like Advanced EFA Formula. It has an excellent ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 parent oils.

It's interesting that this study came from Harvard! I can't help but wonder if any of their "head shrinks" are switching from petrochemical treatment of depression to the parent oils your body needs. It could save lives.

If you're interested in reading more about parent oils and the problems with fish oil, you can read my new book, The PEO Solution. For a limited time, my publisher is offering it at the highly discounted price of $7.95 (plus $3.95 shipping and handling). That's a savings of $19.55 off the cover price. And $18.04 off the Amazon.com price. You can order it by following this link.

Am J Clin Nutr, 2011 June; 93(6): 1337-43.

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