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Nutr Res Rev. 2008 Jun;21(1):13-41. doi: 10.1017/S0954422408998620.

Is there a role for n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in the regulation of mood and behaviour? A review of the evidence to date from epidemiological studies, clinical studies and intervention trials.

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  • 1School of Psychology, Queen's University of Belfast, Belfast, UK.


Selected biochemical evidence suggests a potential role for n-3 long-chain PUFA (n-3PUFA) in the regulation of mood and behaviour. The present paper reviews the relevant evidence, to date, from epidemiological studies, clinical studies and intervention trials. Most evidence is available investigating a role for n-3PUFA in depression, depressive illness and suicidal behaviour, but work is also available on anxiety and anxiety-related disorders, fatigue and fatigue-related disorders, aggression, hostility and anti-social behaviour, inattention, impulsivity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenic disorders. For all these aspects of mood and behaviour, the evidence available is currently limited and highly inconsistent, both in terms of study methodology and study findings. There is a clear need for further work in this area.

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