Depressed people are twice as likely to develop certain forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease.
A new study found that 22 percent of participants who had depression at the beginning of the study ended up developing dementia, compared to about 17 percent of those who were not depressed.
Food Consumer reports:
"One real possibility ... is that depression and dementia share some common cause ... vitamin D may be the link between the two.
[Researchers] found that in November, people with serum levels of vitamin D falling in the highest quartile were 49 percent less likely to experience depression ... Additionally, vitamin D helps prevent dementia, such as that exhibited in those with Alzheimer's disease."
Further, some patients in a separate study got relief from depression by taking omega-3 fats. The ones who improved -- about half the group -- were those who didn't also have a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder.
Depressed people who also had anxiety disorders didn't get any clear benefit from taking the supplements compared to placebo.
"These findings ... add to the confusion about whether omega-3 fatty acids really help depression ... At least some of the confusion is due to the fact that researchers rarely test these substances in any standard way. Some studies have looked at omega-3 as a stand-alone therapy; others have tested it in combination with antidepressants. The formulations often vary, too."