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Am J Psychiatry. 2002 Mar;159(3):477-9.

Addition of omega-3 fatty acid to maintenance medication treatment for recurrent unipolar depressive disorder.

Author information

  • 1Ministry of Health Mental Health Center, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Studies have reported that countries with high rates of fish oil consumption have low rates of depressive disorder. The authors studied a specific omega-3 fatty acid, the ethyl ester of eicosapentaenoic acid (E-EPA), as an adjunct to treatment for depressive episodes occurring in patients with recurrent unipolar depressive disorder who were receiving maintenance antidepressant therapy.

METHOD:

Twenty patients with a current diagnosis of major depressive disorder participated in a 4-week, parallel-group, double-blind addition of either placebo or E-EPA to ongoing antidepressant therapy. Seventeen of the patients were women, and three were men.

RESULTS:

Highly significant benefits of the addition of the omega-3 fatty acid compared with placebo were found by week 3 of treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:

It is not possible to distinguish whether E-EPA augments antidepressant action in the manner of lithium or has independent antidepressant properties of its own.

PMID:
11870016
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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