The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Using cod-liver oil to lower the risk of depression

    There’s growing interest in the potential effect of omega-3 fatty acids on depression and subsequent afflictions such as heart disease.

    Here’s a study using the granddaddy of omega-3 formulations — cod-liver oil.

    First, the details.

    • The medical recorders from more than 21,000 Norwegian adults aged 40-49 and 70-74 years were studied.
    • All had symptoms of depression and anxiety.

    And, the results.

    • 9% of these people took cod-liver oil daily.
    • The prevalence of depressive symptoms in those who used cod-liver oil daily was 2.5%.
    • The prevalence was 3.8% in the rest of the population, a significant difference.
    • The results were still significant after accounting for the influence of age, gender, smoking habits, coffee consumption, alcohol consumption, physical activity, and education.
    • In the younger group, the prevalence of high levels of depressive symptoms decreased significantly as the duration of cod-liver oil use became prolonged from 0 to 12 months.
    • These data were not available in the older group.

    The bottom line?
    At first, the different between 2.5% and 3.8% might appear small, but it’s 30%.

    It’s unclear whether the benefits in this study were due to a direct anti-depressant effect of cod-liver oil, or because of its cardiovascular benefits. After all, healthy people tend to be less depressed.

    Regardless, it’s another positive study for omega-3 fatty acids and your grandma’s pharmacopeia.

    6/18/07 18:08 JR

    Comments are closed.