Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Are omega-3 fatty acids antidepressants or just mood-improving agents? The effect depends upon diagnosis, supplement preparation, and severity of depression

Your institute does not have access to this article

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1
Figure 2


  1. Freeman MP, Hibbeln JR, Wisner KL, Davis JM, Mischoulon D, Peet M et al. J Clin Psychiatry 2006; 67: 1954–1967.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Appleton KM, Rogers PJ, Ness AR . Am J Clin Nutr 2010; 91: 757–770.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Martins JG, Bentsen H, Puri BK . Mol Psychiatry, advance online publication, 10 April 2012; doi:10.1038/mp.2012.25 [e-pub ahead of print].

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Sublette ME, Ellis SP, Geant AL, Mann JJ . J Clin Psychiatry 2011; 72: 1577–1584.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Lin PY, Su KP . J Clin Psychiatry 2007; 68: 1056–1061.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Bloch MH, Hannestad J . Mol Psychiatry, advance online publication, 20 September 2011; doi: 10.1038/mp.2011.100 [e-pub ahead of print].

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Rogers PJ, Appleton KM, Kessler D, Peters TJ, Gunnell D, Hayward RC et al. Br J Nutr 2008; 99: 421–431.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Lucas M, Asselin G, Mérette C, Poulin MJ, Dodin S . Am J Clin Nutr 2009; 89: 641–651.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Lin PY, Huang SY, Su KP . Biol Psychiatry 2010; 68: 140–147.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to K-P Su.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

Dr David Mischoulon has received research support for other clinical trials from Amarin (Laxdale), Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cederroth, Lichtwer Pharma GmbH, Nordic Naturals, Ganeden, Swiss Medica, and Fisher-Wallace; he has received consulting and writing honoraria from Pamlab; he has received speaking honoraria from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Nordic Naturals, Pfizer, Pamlab, and Virbac; he has received royalty income from Back Bay Scientific for PMS Escape, and from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins for the book, ‘Natural Medications for Psychiatric Disorders: Considering the Alternatives’ (Editors: David Mischoulon and Jerrold F Rosenbaum). Dr Marlene P Freeman has received research support for clinical trials from Lilly, Forrest and Glaxo SmithKline; she has received consulting honoraria for the Advisory Board from Bristol Myers Squibb; she consulted to PamLab on behalf of Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr Yutaka Matsuoka has received research support from the Japan Science and Technology Agency, CREST and the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare of Japan, Intramural Research Grant for Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders of NCNP and lecture fees from Suntory Wellness Ltd, Eli Lilly Japan and Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Ltd. The remaining authors declare no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Author contributions

PY Lin and KP Su wrote the first draft of the letter. All authors contributed to and approved the final version of the letter.

PowerPoint slides

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Lin, PY., Mischoulon, D., Freeman, M. et al. Are omega-3 fatty acids antidepressants or just mood-improving agents? The effect depends upon diagnosis, supplement preparation, and severity of depression. Mol Psychiatry 17, 1161–1163 (2012).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links