Find Search

Other Information

Quest Vitamins LTD,
8 Venture Way,
Aston Science Park,
B7 4AP.

Tel: 0121 359 0056
Fax: 0121 359 0313
Registered in England No. 2530437

Issue # 69.2 - Omega 3 + 6 For Brain/Eye Health

Fish for Depression

Several lines of evidence indicate an association between omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and depression. The purpose of this review was to evaluate the evidence to date within the context of the study design and methodology used. In case-control and cohort studies, concentrations of omega-3 PUFAs were lower in participants with unipolar and postpartum depression. Fish are the major dietary source of omega-3 PUFAs, and infrequent fish consumption is associated with depression in epidemiological studies. While these findings do not appear to be the result of confounding, in some studies, failure to detect confounding may be due to a lack of power or incomplete control. In four of seven double-blind randomized controlled trials, depression was significantly improved upon treatment with at least 1 g/day of eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 PUFA.

Prev Med. 2005 Dec 6;

Relation between dietary n-3 and n-6 fatty acids and clinically diagnosed dry eye syndrome in women

Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a prevalent condition, but information on risk or protective factors is lacking. This study aimed to determine the association between the dietary intake and ratio of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids (FAs) and DES occurrence. 32470 female health professionals in the Women\'s Health Study aged 45-85 years old, provided information on diet and DES and were cross-sectionally studied. They assessed FA intakes by using a validated food-frequency questionnaire and assessed DES by using self-reports of clinically diagnosed cases. Results showed that a higher ratio of n-6 to n-3 FA consumption was associated with a significantly increased risk of DES. In addition, tuna consumption was inversely associated with DES. These results suggest that a higher dietary intake of n-3 FAs is associated with a decreased incidence of DES in women.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Oct;82(4):887-93.

Nutrition and Depression

Adequate nutrition is needed for countless aspects of brain functioning. Poor diet quality, may be a modifiable risk factor for depression. The objective was to review and synthesize the current knowledge of the role of nutrition in depression, and address implications for childbearing-aged women. Poor omega-3 fatty acid status increases the risk of depression. Fish oil and folic acid supplements each have been used to treat depression successfully. Folate deficiency reduces the response to antidepressants. Deficiencies of folate, vitamin B12, iron, zinc, and selenium tend to be more common among depressed than nondepressed persons. Dietary antioxidants have not been studied rigorously in relation to depression. Childbearing-aged women are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of poor nutrition on mood because pregnancy and lactation are major nutritional stressors to the body. The depletion of nutrient reserves throughout pregnancy and a lack of recovery postpartum may increase a woman\'s risk of depression.

Biol Psychiatry. 2005 Jul 22

Omega 3 and Brain Development

Evidence suggests that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids play an integral role in cell membrane function and development of the brain and eyes. Optimising intake appears to confer many benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and possibly a reduced likelihood of behavioural problems, depression and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Although there is some disagreement on what level of intake is optimal, British diets are low in omega-3 fatty acids. Good sources include oily fish and novel sources include fortified eggs and oils derived from microalgae.

Nurs Stand. 2004 Aug 11-17;18(48):38-42

Print this page