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Psychosom Med. 2007 Dec;69(9):932-4. Epub 2007 Nov 8.

High omega-6 and low omega-3 fatty acids are associated with depressive symptoms and neuroticism.

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Department of Psychology, Allegheny College, 520 North Main Street, Meadville, PA 16335-3902, USA.



To examine the concentrations of omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in serum obtained from nonpatient community volunteers not selected for hypercholesterolemia. Previously we reported that the relative concentrations of omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in serum covary with depressive symptomatology and neuroticism in hypercholesterolemic adults.


A total of 116 adults without current Axis I psychopathology completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the NEO Personality Inventory--Revised (NEO-PI-R). Fasting serum phospholipid eicosapentaenoic (EPA), docosahexaenoic (DHA), and arachidonic acid (AA) were determined (% of total pool).


Higher AA and AA:EPA ratio, adjusted for age, gender, and race, were associated with greater depressive symptomatology (BDI score of >or=10). Lower EPA, and higher AA, AA:EPA ratio and AA:DHA ratio were associated with greater NEO-PI-R Neuroticism. The six Neuroticism subscales were each associated with two or more fatty acid measurements.


In conjunction with other reports, these findings suggest that the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are related to negative affect at both the symptom and trait levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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