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Omega-3 Helps to Ease Depression

Posted Oct 19 2011 10:14pm

Previously, an extensive number of studies regarding omega-3 fatty acids have suggested that the nutrient exerts beneficial effects on heart health, and new findings suggest benefits for mood, behavior, and mental function. Natalie Sinn, from the University of South Australia (Australia), and colleagues enrolled 50 men and women, ages 65 years and older, for a six-month long randomized controlled trial. The subjects received daily supplements of either EPA-rich fish oil (1.6 g EPA with 0.16 g DHA, per day); DHA-rich fish oil (1.55 g DHA with 0.40 g EPA, per day); or the omega-6 linoleic acid (2.2 g per day).  The team found that the EPA-rich fish oil supplemented group displayed better scores on a standardized depression scale, whereas the DHA- rich fish oil fish oil supplemented group showed improvement in verbal fluency (both as compared to the group that received linoleic acid).  The team concludes that: "Increasing [omega-3 fatty acids ] intakes may reduce depressive symptoms and the risk of progressing to dementia.”

Natalie Sinn, Catherine M. Milte, Steven J. Street, Jonathan D. Buckley, Alison M. Coates, John Petkov. Et al.  “Effects of n-3 fatty acids, EPA v. DHA, on depressive symptoms, quality of life, memory and executive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: a 6-month randomised controlled trial.”  British Journal of Nutrition, 20 September 2011.

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