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A Doctor Is Using Oysters To Treat Depression

You've heard the phrase, "take one and call me in the morning," so how about, "take 12"?

According to Columbia University assistant professor and psychiatrist, Dr Drew Ramsey, there's a new prescription that can help with anxiety and depression -- eating oysters.

Dr Ramsey credits the fishy food's high vitamin B12 for reducing brain shrinkage while noting the link between long chain omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies and depression, says the New York Times. Given the oyster's high level of the polyunsaturated fatty acid, these little suckers can reduce symptoms, according to Ramsey.

Worth a try, right?

Well according to the New York Times, one 48-year-old patient thought so. He took the good doctor's advice a step further and ate three dozen oysters in one weekend.

Which, to be fair, sounds like a dream.

"You're the only person I've prescribed them to who came back and said he ate 36!" Ramsey told the man, who was suffering from mild depression and anxiety.

And did it work?

"It's one part of the whole package that helps alleviate my depression and helps me to feel better," said the patient, adding that he now follows a diet that's low in fatty meat and processed, fried foods, too.

READ MORE: The Anti-Anxiety Diet: What To Eat To Calm Your Mind

A pioneer in the field of nutritional psychiatry, which attempts to apply what science is learning about the impact of nutrition on the brain and mental health, Dr Ramsey has published a number of books on the subject including "Eat Complete," "Fifty Shades of Kale," and "The Happiness Diet".

Dr Ramsey argues that a poor diet is a major contributing factor to depression and anxiety, and together with Samantha Elkrief, a chef and food coach who sits in on many of his patient sessions, he often talks to patients about how better eating may lead to better mental health.

READ MORE: Seafood Could Be The Key To Mental Health

But while food can certainly impact symptoms, the good doctor isn't replacing medicine altogether just yet.

On his menu for helping patients, he also serves up antidepressants, therapy, and further counselling, with a side dish of good dietary suggestions.

And whether to have lemon or a vinaigrette dressing, one assumes.

Feature image: Getty.