Fish consumption and risk of depression: Epidemiological evidence from prospective studies.Asia Pac Psychiatry. 2018 Dec; 10(4):e12335.AP
The evidence on the association of fish or omega-3 fatty acid intake with depression is inconsistent. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies to examine this association.
Database searches in PubMed and Web of Science were conducted to identify relevant articles published up to April 2018, which were supplemented by hand-searches of reference lists of the retrieved articles. Using a random-effects model, we calculated pooled relative risks (RR) of depression in relation to consumption of fish or omega-3 fatty acids after adjusting for potential confounders.
A total of 10 prospective cohort studies with 6672 cases of depression among 109 764 participants were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled adjusted RR of depression for the highest vs lowest category of fish consumption was 0.89 (95% CI: 0.80-0.99). The pooled adjusted RR of depression for the highest vs lowest category of omega-3 intake was 0.87 (95% CI: 0.74-1.04). In the dose-response analysis, the pooled adjusted RRs for an increment of 1 serving/week of fish consumption and 500 mg/day of omega-3 fatty acid intake were 0.89 (95% CI: 0.75-1.04) and 0.99 (95% CI: 0.94-1.04), respectively. There was no evidence of heterogeneity.
Our findings provide quantitative evidence for a modest inverse association between fish or omega-3 fatty acid intake and risk of depression, especially in women. These findings from the observational studies need to be confirmed through large randomized clinical trials of fish consumption or omega-3 fatty acid intake and risk of depression.