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Nutr Neurosci. 2004 Apr;7(2):101-6.

Dietary omega-3 fatty acids and depression in a community sample.

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Department of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences: Barwon Health, The University of Melbourne, PO. Box 281, Geelong 3220, Vic., Australia.


To evaluate the association between omega-3 polyunsaturated essential fatty acids and depression, data regarding prevalence rates of self-reported depression and median daily dietary intakes of these fatty acids were obtained from an age-stratified, population-based sample of women (n = 755; 23-97 year) in the Barwon Statistical Division of south-eastern Australia. A self-report questionnaire based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV criteria was utilised to determine 12-month prevalence rates of depression in this sample, and data from biennial food frequency questionnaires examining seafood and fish oil consumption over a 6-year period were examined. Differences in median dietary intakes of omega-3 fatty acids between the depressed and nondepressed cohorts were analysed and results were adjusted for age, weight and smoking status. No significant differences in median intakes were identified between the two groups of women (median, interquartile range; depressed = 0.09g/day, 0.04-0.18 versus nondepressed = 0.11 g/day, 0.05-0.22, p = 0.3), although overall average intakes of omega-3 fatty acids were lower than recommended and rates of depression within this sample higher than expected, based on previous data. Further research that takes into account ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 polyunsaturated essential fatty acids, as well as other dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids, is warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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