Cheer Up,and Have a Mackerel for Tea; RESEARCH CLAIMS FATTY ACIDS IN THE FISH CAN HELP BEAT DEPRESSION

Article excerpt

Byline: BEN TAYLOR

THINGS haven't been going too swimmingly for mackerel of late.

While sales have tailed off, other fish have caught the nation's eye.

But now the cheap and cheerful mackerel could hook a fresh wave of fans.

Already claimed to be a weapon against heart disease, it is now being hailed as a way to beat depression.

Research has shown that countries with traditionally high fish consumption can boast significantly lower rates of depression that low fish-eaters.

Japan - which eats 140lbs of fish per person each year - has six times fewer cases of depression than New Zealand, where people consume only 30lbs a year.

Now Dr Andrew Stoll, of the Harvard Medical School in Boston, is set to publish claims that the omega-3 fatty acids contained in mackerel - administered in capsule form and alongside traditional anti-depressants - can dramatically improve recovery times.

The key, he says, is that depressed people tend to have low levels of the acids in their cell membranes, while the fats are high in fish such as mackerel.

Among those said to be particularly in need of omega-3 are new mothers with postnatal depression. …