New study supports link between Omega-3 supplementation and reduction in depression

March 18, 2016
Forest plot of meta-analysis on the effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on depressive symptoms in major depressive disorder. Credit: Mocking et al., 2016. doi:10.1038/tp.2016.29, Reproduced per terms of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

According to the World Health Organization, depression is a major cause of disease burden worldwide, affecting an estimated 350 million people. According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, in 2014, an estimated 15.7 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.

A new meta-analysis published in Translational Psychiatry supports the link between intake of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, the kind found in fish, and reduction in (MDD). The meta-analysis includes 13 studies with 1233 participants and, according to the authors, showed a benefit for EPA and DHA comparable to effects reported in meta-analyses of antidepressants (see Figure 1). The effect was greater in studies supplementing higher doses of EPA and performed in patients already on antidepressants.

According to the study's lead author Dr. RJT Mocking, Program for Mood Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, "This new meta-analysis nuances earlier research on the importance of long chain omega-3s in MDD."

Explore further: Paper highlights best practices for omega-3 clinical trials with cardiovascular outcomes

Related Stories

Omega-3 fatty acids may prevent some forms of depression

October 1, 2014

Patients with increased inflammation, including those receiving cytokines for medical treatment, have a greatly increased risk of depression. For example, a 6-month treatment course of interferon-alpha therapy for chronic ...

Recommended for you

Tough times make for more impulsive pre-teens

June 23, 2017

The loss of a grandparent. Marital discord at home. Trouble with peers. When pre-teens are forced to deal with adverse life events such as these they tend to become more impulsive in their decision-making later in life. And ...

Following a friend leads to unsafe driving behavior

June 23, 2017

Have you ever tried following a friend in a car? It can stressful; if you don't keep up, you are likely to get lost. To avoid this, you may make unsafe driving manoeuvres to keep sight of the car ahead.

Video games can change your brain

June 22, 2017

Scientists have collected and summarized studies looking at how video games can shape our brains and behavior. Research to date suggests that playing video games can change the brain regions responsible for attention and ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.