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The Omega-3 Connection: The Groundbreaking Antidepression Diet and Brain Program

by Andrew Stoll, published by 2002-03-05 (Free Press)

Buy now from Amazon.com for $14.00
Amazon rating of 4.5 out of 5, Amazon sales rank: 30730

Editor's Review:

A must-read for anyone dealing with depression, The Omega-3 Connection by Andrew L. Stoll, M.D., strikes yet another blow against the standard American diet. We already know that years of noshing on highly processed foods have saddled us with sky-high rates of heart disease, obesity, and related conditions. But, as we're starting to understand now, our eating habits may also be subtly altering our brain chemistry, leaving us vulnerable to anxiety disorders and depression. Only in this case, it's not just what we're eating--it's what we're not eating: foods containing omega-3 essential fatty acids--the "good fats" that help maintain optimal brain function.

In his book, Stoll, the director of the psychopharmacology research lab at Boston's McLean Hospital and assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, suggests that restoring our body's natural balance of omega-3s may help alleviate (and prevent) many types of depression--even for those who don't respond to traditional antidepressants. Omega-3s may also prove helpful with other problems, such as the inability to handle stress, memory loss, and cognitive decline. The book contains a "renewal plan" designed to help readers put Stoll's concepts into practice, recipes for omega-3-rich dishes, advice for choosing supplements, and dosages for therapeutic use.

Although Stoll is quick with the caveat that much of the research on omega-3s and brain function is still evolving, he makes a compelling case for using these fats to regulate depression and other cognitive disorders. Along with major epidemiological evidence that shows lower rates of depression in those cultures that consume a great deal of omega-3s, Stoll's own studies indicate that boosting their intake can reduce depression symptoms. And Stoll cites stacks of additional studies suggesting that omega-3s can also help with major depression, schizophrenia, and postpartum depression. Going even further, Stoll makes a strong argument that omega-3 deficiency could be contributing to rising rates of teen violence and attention deficit disorders.

Of course, depression should never be treated without physician supervision. But in laying the groundwork for the omega-3s to emerge as the next big thing in natural depression therapy, Stoll certainly gives us food for thought. --Norine Dworkin

Managing depression safely, naturally, and without side effects

For years scientists have searched for a treatment to relieve the pain of depression and other mood disorders -- one that's safe enough for nursing mothers, children, and the elderly -- without the side effects associated with medicines like Prozac, Zoloft, and lithium. Thanks to Dr. Andrew Stoll's groundbreaking research, that search may well be over.

Stoll found that omega-3 fatty acids, already known for their importance in preventing heart disease, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer, also play a crucial role in mental health. They regulate and enhance mood, sharpen memory, and even aid concentration and learning. Though these remarkable substances are abundant in common fish oils and other foods, the average Western diet includes far too few of the most common sources. Fortunately, our deficient diets and attendant depression can be reversed. The Omega-3 Connection provides readers with all the information they need to restore their natural balance of omega-3 fatty acids, including

  • Which omega-3-rich foods to eat

  • The most effective over-the-counter supplements

  • How to integrate flaxseed and fish oils into diet and medication plans

  • Simple recipes, supplement doses and sources, and more

Ground-breaking research provides an exciting new approach to treating the most common mental problem in America -- depression. For years, scientists have searched for a "magic bullet" to relieve the pain and trauma of mood disorders -- one safe enough for nursing mothers, children with ADD, and the elderly, and one uncomplicated by the toxicity and invasive side effects associated with mood regulators like Prozac, Zoloft, and lithium. Thanks to Harvard's Andrew Stoll, the search may finally be over. Stoll found that Omega-3 acids, already known for their importance in preventing heart disease and cancer, play a crucial role in mental health -- regulating and enhancing mood, sharpening memory, and even aiding concentration and learning. This substance, so essential to our health, is found abundantly in fish and flax oils and occurs naturally in humans, but is often depleted by our Western diet and lifestyle. In his revolutionary program, Stoll presents readers with all the tools for restoring their natural balance of Omega-3 -- including the foods to eat and how to choose the most effective over-the-counter supplements. Featuring information on how to integrate flaxseed and fish oil into diet and medication plans, simple recipes, supplement doses and sources, The Omega-3 Connection offers an entirely new, practical method for improving mental health.

Reader Reviews:

This is a book that can be life changing. It's extremely solid, clearly written, for the lay person, and fully documented, and it concerns Dr. Stoll's claims as to the benefits of taking Omega-3 oil supplements. It was recommended to me by a Nurse Practitioner at the Hospital Clinic where I go for regular medical care, and it has caused a revolution in my life. We live in a wilderness of self help and health care books that can confuse us and numb us with their contradictory claims. But be assured this book is a thorough and brilliant record of the results of actual medical research. Dr. Stoll's work with Omega-3 was done at Harvard, and he knows whereof he speaks. He is not the only one recommending that we take Omega-3 supplements to make up for the deficiencies in our "modern" diet. Indeed many many doctors are now talking about this, and word can not spread too fast. Read this book. And take it from this reader: there is indeed a profound" Omega-3 connection, " and it's vital that we avail ourselves of this substance for better health. This is one of those books where after you read it your life style will change. We spend billions of dollars on health care at the treatment level when we should be focusing on the cause.

As a physician treating cardiovascular disease the cause is in our diet. Read it if you want to know more about yourself and lead a healthy life.


This is an excellent book on the omega-3s, which are health providing substances found in fish oil. Either way, this is an excellent book for learning more about omega-3s.An excellent Book! I could not put it down, even though I do not like scientific-data books normally. It was so full of good info and hope, that I was thrilled to read it.

The reputation of Stoll proceeds him, and his work here is excellent. I hope that it is updated in 2004 or 2005 with the latest findings and info that may help us even more. I suggest the purchase of Stoll's fish oil capsules. They work very well, and have almost no taste! The quality is superior to anything I have found on the market today!

This book does present a persuasive case for the efficacy of Omega-3 in treating depression. But there's a little too much of "so you should buy our product, because it's the BEST omega-3 on the market!!!" Yes, your company's omega-3 tablets are of great quality and high concentration. But excessive promotion detracts from the scientific message of the book.Stoll needs an editor--much of the material is repeated one or more times and often cut-and-paste is in evidence. There is much tangential information that won't be of interest to everyone in order to pad it into a full-length book. Still, it is a good source of information regarding sources of omega-3 oils and how much to take.
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See also:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Health

Depression-Free for Life: A Physician's All-Natural, 5-Step Plan

Gary Null's Ultimate Lifetime Diet : A Revolutionary All-Natural Program for Losing Weight and Building a Healthy Body

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