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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2006 Oct;85(2):474-9. Epub 2006 Nov 28.

Depression and serum adiponectin and adipose omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in adolescents.

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Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Crete, P. O. Box 2208, 71003 Iraklion, Crete, Greece.


The purpose of the present study was to investigate for a possible relationship between depression and serum adiponectin and adipose tissue omega-3 and omega-6 PUFA. The sample consisted of 90 healthy adolescent volunteers from the island of Crete. There were 54 girls and 36 boys, aged 13 to 18. The mean age was 15.2 years. Subjects were examined by the Preventive Medicine and Nutrition Clinic of the University of Crete. Depression was assessed through the use of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Fatty acids were determined by gas chromatography in adipose tissue. CES-D correlated with dihomo-gamma linolenic acid (DGLA). Multiple linear regression analyses showed that BDI was negatively associated with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), while CES-D was positively associated with DGLA in adipose tissue. Serum adiponectin was not significantly associated with depression. The negative relationship between adipose EPA and depression in adolescents, is in line with findings of previous studies involving adult and elderly subjects, demonstrating negative relations between depression and adipose omega-3 PUFA. This is the first literature report of a relationship between depression and an individual omega-3 fatty acid in adolescents. The inverse relationship between adipose EPA and depression indicates that a low long-term dietary intake of EPA is associated with an increased risk for depression in adolescents.

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