Latest Depression News
"Using a combination of laboratory and patient research, our study has provided exciting new insight into how omega-3 fatty acids bring about anti-inflammatory effects that improve depression," said lead author Alessandra Borsini, a postdoctoral neuroscientist at King's College London.
"Our study has helped shine a light on the molecular mechanisms involved in this relationship, which can inform the development of potential new treatments for depression using omega-3 PUFA," Borsini said in a university news release.
The patient portion of this new study included 22 people with major depression.
Once a day for 12 weeks, they were given one of two omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) — either 3 grams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or 1.4 grams of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
EPA and DHA are omega-3 PUFAs found in oily fish.
Byproducts of EPA and DHA were measured in the patients' blood before and after treatment, and their depression symptoms were assessed.
Treatment with both omega-3s was associated with a significant improvement in depression, with an average 64% drop in symptoms for the EPA group and 71% in the DHA group. It does not prove cause-and-effect, however.
The findings were published June 16 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
The levels of EPA and DHA used in this study can't be achieved by eating oily fish, the researchers noted.
Senior study author Carmen Pariante, a professor of biological psychiatry, said the research has provided vital information to help shape clinical trials of therapeutic approaches with omega-3 fatty acids.
"It is important to highlight that our research has not shown that by simply increasing omega-3 fatty acids in our diets or through taking nutritional supplements we can reduce inflammation or depression," she said. "The mechanisms behind the associations between depression and omega-3 PUFA are complicated and require further research and clinical trials to fully understand how they work and inform future therapeutic approaches."
SOURCE: King's College London, news release, June 15, 2021
Copyright © 2021 HealthDay. All rights reserved.