Women, depression and omega-3


In order to assess the relationship between omega-3 / depressive symptoms, the National Institute on Aging (USA) conducted a study from 2004 to 2009 in 1746 adults (30-65 y). Depression was evaluated using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale, a short self-report test designed to measure depressive symptomatology in the general population. Total scores can range from 0 to 60, but a score ≥16 suggests elevated depressive symptoms. Fatty acid intake was estimated at an interview that asked individuals to recall foods and beverages they had consumed 24 h prior to the interview.

Elevated depressive symptoms were observed in 25.6% of women (and in 18.1% of men). Amongst women, higher intakes of omega-3 fatty acids (absolute and relative to omega-6 fatty acids) were associated with lower risk (49%) of elevated depressive symptoms and were inversely related to somatic complaints.

This study supports growing evidence that depressive symptoms are more common in women with low omega-3 levels.



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