Was Robin Williams’ suicide linked to an Omega-3 deficiency?
We Luv Essential Fatty Acids blog
Aug 15, 2014
As reported on The Huffington Post, actor-comedian Robin Williams suffered from depression, anxiety, and the early stages of Parkinson’s disease prior to his untimely suicide earlier this week. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids may effectively alleviate depression without the dangerous side effects of antidepressant drugs.
According to the latest (2011) figures published by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 39,000 Americans die by suicide every year and over 60 percent of all those who die by suicide suffer from major depression. More Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease (17 million) or cancer (12 million). In the United States, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 15 and 64 years (Williams was 63). Moreover, 90 percent of Americans who die by suicide had a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.
Omega-3 fats are part of a group of essential fatty acids that must be obtained from dietary sources, as the body cannot synthesize them internally. In a report published by Life Extension Magazine in October 2007, a Norwegian study of nearly 22,000 participants revealed that those who regularly took cod liver oil (a rich source of omega-3 fats) were about 30% less likely to have symptoms of depression than those who did not. In another clinical study, subjects (including those already taking antidepressants) who were given omega-3 fatty acids saw their depression symptoms reduced, on average, by about 50 percent, according to Joseph Hibbeln, a psychiatrist at the National Institutes for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.