[PHNUTR-L] Study: Improving ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in diet may
improve mood, reduce depression
fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com
Fri Apr 20 11:21:25 PDT 2007
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Better omega-3 to omega-6 ratio could reduce depression study
By Stephen Daniells
20/04/2007- Improving the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in the diet may
improve mood and reduce depression, suggests a new study.
Researchers from Ohio State University took blood samples from 43 older
adults (average age 67) and calculated polyunsaturated fatty acids
(PUFA) levels and compared these to levels of markers of inflammation,
and found that people with high ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 were more
likely to suffer depression and inflammatory diseases.
"Our findings highlight ways in which diet may enhance or inhibit
depression-related inflammation among older adults," wrote lead author
Janice Kiecolt-Glaser in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. "These
behaviour-dietary-immune interactions have important implications for
both mental and physical health."
The new study adds to a growing body of evidence linking an increased
omega-3 to omega-6 intake ratio to improved health.
Numerous observational studies and uncontrolled trials have reported the
benefits of fish oils and omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA on the
behaviour and learning, especially in kids, as well for improving the
symptoms of depression
For the new study, the researchers measured levels of markers of
inflammation, including tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha),
interleukin-6 (IL-6), and levels of the IL-6 soluble receptor (sIL-6r).
Symptoms of depression were assessed using the Center for
Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale.
"We found that individuals who met the criteria for syndromal depression
had significantly higher omega-6 to omega-3 ratios as well as higher
TNF-alpha, IL-6 and sIL-6r levels than those who did not meet the
criteria," wrote the authors.
Chronic inflammation, brought about by an over-expression or lack of
control of the normal protective mechanism, has been linked to range of
conditions linked to heart disease, osteoporosis, cognitive decline and
Alzheimer's, and type-2 diabetes.
"Epidemiological studies have clearly linked increased pro-inflammatory
cytokines with depressive symptoms as well as elevated omega-6:omega-3
ratios," said the researchers. "Our data suggest that a lower
omega-6:omega-3 ratio offers some protection, particularly as depressive
symptoms increase; accordingly, it is possible that the differences in
participants' dietary omega-3 intakes may have contributed to the
variability in depression-cytokine relationships in other studies."
Omega-3 are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) consumed predominantly
in the diet from fish, nuts and seeds. The fish oil PUFAs include
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenioc acid (DHA). EPA is
proposed to function by increasing blood flow in the body. It is also
suggested to affect hormones and the immune system, both of which have a
direct effect on brain function. DHA, on the other hand, is involved in
the membrane of ion channels in the brain, making it easier for them to
change shape and transit electrical signals.
Source: Psychosomatic Medicine
Published on-line ahead of print, doi: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e3180313a45
"Depressive Symptoms, omega-6:omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Inflammation in
Authors: J.K. Kiecolt-Glaser, M.A. Belury, K. Porter, D.Q. Beversdorf,
S. Lemeshow, and R. Glaser
Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD < fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com >
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