Elevated Depressive Symptoms and Fatty Acids

Elevated Depressive Symptoms and Fatty Acids

A cross-sectional study published in the Journal of Nutrition (2013 Sept 4; [Epub ahead of print]) looked at 1,746 adults between the ages of 30 and 65 years. Elevated depressive symptoms were found in just over 25% of the female subjects and around 18% of the male subjects. Elevated depressive symptoms were found to be related to intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Specifically, in women, the highest tertile of omega-3 fatty acids intake was associated with a reduced odds of EDS by 49%, as compared to the lowest tertile. Specifically, in women, the highest tertile of omega-3 fatty acids intake was associated with a reduced odds of EDS by 49%, as compared to the lowest tertile. Furthermore, the omega-3 PUFA to omega-6 PUFA ratio was inversely associated to EDS in women, and a similar pattern was found for omega-3 HUFA vs omega-6 HUFAs. The authors conclude, “…among United States women, higher intakes of n-3 fatty acids [absolute (n-3) and relative to n-6 fatty acids (n-3:n-6)] were associated with lower risk of elevated depressive symptoms, specifically in domains of somatic complaints (mainly n-3 PUFAs) and positive affect (mainly n-3 HUFAs).”


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