This section of my website used to be dedicated to triathlon training, personal race results and certification reviews, like Turbo Kick. I am expanding it to include more generic health & fitness topics. Also, I talk a lot about "D" -- he's my husband (Dave Liu)!

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Depression

Chicken and fish are supposed to be great sources of lean protein. That's true but it appears that people who eat lots of tuna and swordfish end up with high levels of toxic mercury in their systems which exceed U. S. Environmental Protection Agency safety limits. Other offending fish include shark, king mackerel and tilefish.

Putting mercury levels aside for a moment, eating fish is supposed to be healthy partly because they contain a lot of omega-3 fatty acids. Mom recently sent me article on omega-3 fatty acids and depression. Ingesting omega-3 fatty acids may reduce depression because they are "key building blocks of the brain ... studies show that low levels in the diet are associated with low levels of a brain chemical called serotonin. Low levels of serotonin, in turn, are tied to depression."

Fortunately, not all fish have high mercury levels. Salmon, catfish and scallops, seem to be OK, as are fish-oil supplements.

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