Omega-3 status again linked to lower depressive symptoms
A large new study again prove there is a link between omega-3 status and depression in healthy subjects. Most of the previous studies have focused on populations eating Western diets with lower fish intake. The present study investigated the association between blood levels of n-3 LCPUFA and depressive symptoms in Japanese community dwellers with higher n-3 LCPUFA blood levels compared to populations in Western countries.
Depression is a serious problem worldwide, and about 5% of the population report having experienced one or more episodes of depression during their life, and the problem is increasing. More and more studies link low levels of omega-3 to depression
More than 2100 Japanese men and women, 40 years or older was involved with 60 years being the average age of the studied population. Blood samples found that serum concentrations of omega-3 were inversely associated with symptoms of depression.
The researchers found marginally, but significant differences in fatty acid status between the groups with and without depressive symptoms, the average omega-3 concentration of subjects with depressive symptoms were 264,1 µg/ ml and the average concentration of subjects without depressive symptoms to be 276 µg/ ml.
This study suggest that serum levels of EPA and DHA may be associated wtih depressive symptoms in Japanese with higher blood lvels of omegaga-3 LCPUFA. Therefore, even in countries with a higher fish intake, omega-3 LCPUFA intake in the usual diet may lower depressive symptoms.
People with depressive symptoms (using the CES-D scale) were also found to more likely be unmarried, have less education and higher rate of past stroke, as compared to those without depressive symptoms.
What to learn: Supplement your diet with omega-3, specially a high EPA supplement
Cross-sectional association between serum concentrations of n-3 long-chain PUFA and depressive symptoms: results in Japanese community dwellers. Horikawa et al., British Journal of Nutrition, page 1 of 9 published ahead of print, doi:10.1017/S0007114515004754
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