Research shows effectiveness of a daily dose 2.5G omega3 re treatment of depression in elderly

Abstract Nutrition Journal 2012, 11:82 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-82
Depression is one of the most frequently missed diagnoses in elderly people, with obvious
negative effects on quality of life. Various studies have shown that long chain omega-3
polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) may be useful in its management. Our objective was
to evaluate whether a supplement containing n-3 PUFA improves depressive symptoms in
depressed elderly patients, and whether the blood fatty acid pattern is correlated with these
The severity of depressive symptoms according to the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS),
blood fatty acid composition and erythrocyte phospholipids were analyzed in 46 depressed
females aged 66-95y, diagnosed with depression according to DSMIV, within the context of
a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. 22 depressed females were included in
the intervention group (2.5 g/day of n-3 PUFA for 8 weeks), and 24 in the placebo group. We
also measured immunological parameters (CD2, CD3, CD4, CD8, CD16, CD19 and
cytokines (IL-5, IL-15).
The mean GDS score and AA/EPA ratio, in whole blood and RBC membrane phospholipids,
were significantly lower after 2 months supplementation with n-3 PUFA. A significant
correlation between the amelioration of GDS and the AA/EPA ratio with some
immunological parameters, such as CD2, CD19, CD4, CD16 and the ratio CD4/CD8, was
also found. Nevertheless, omega-3 supplementation did not significantly improve the studied
immunological functions.
n-3 PUFA supplementation ameliorates symptoms in elderly depression. The n-3 PUFA
status may be monitored by means of the determination of whole blood AA/EPA ratio.

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