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Primary care
Does taking omega-3 supplements reduce the risk of having depression or anxiety? Probably not
  1. Igho Onakpoya
  1. Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Igho Onakpoya, Nuffield Dept. of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 2JD, UK; igho.onakpoya{at}

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Findings from observational studies have led to suggestions that dietary omega-3 supplementation can lower the risk of depression and anxiety; however, results of a recent meta-analysis of randomised trials prove otherwise.

Depression is the leading course of disability, and many patients with depression also suffer from anxiety symptoms.1 Research has shown that people with depression have a lower level of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) compared with the general population,2 and data from observational studies suggest that dietary supplementation with long chain fatty acids (PUFA) can lower the risk of developing …

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  • Contributors IO drafted the manuscript.

  • Funding The author has not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.