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Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Jun 23;19(7). pii: E1849. doi: 10.3390/ijms19071849.

N-3 Polyunsatured Fatty Acids in Menopausal Transition: A Systematic Review of Depressive and Cognitive Disorders with Accompanying Vasomotor Symptoms.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosciences and Mental Health, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy. valentina.ciappolino@libero.it.
2
Pediatric Intermediate Care Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda-Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, 20122 Milan, Italy. alessandra.mazzocchi@unimi.it.
3
Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy. alessandra.mazzocchi@unimi.it.
4
Department of Neurosciences and Mental Health, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy. paolo.enrico@unimi.it.
5
Pediatric Intermediate Care Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda-Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, 20122 Milan, Italy. eva.syren@unimi.it.
6
Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy. eva.syren@unimi.it.
7
Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy. g.delvecchio@hotmail.it.
8
Pediatric Intermediate Care Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda-Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, 20122 Milan, Italy. carlo.agostoni@unimi.it.
9
Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy. carlo.agostoni@unimi.it.
10
SIGENP (Italian Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition), via Libero Temolo 4 (Torre U8), 20126 Milan, Italy. carlo.agostoni@unimi.it.
11
Department of Neurosciences and Mental Health, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy. paolo.brambilla1@unimi.it.
12
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, University of Texas at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA. paolo.brambilla1@unimi.it.

Abstract

Depression is one of the most important health problems worldwide. Women are 2.5 times more likely to experience major depression than men. Evidence suggests that some women might experience an increased risk for developing depression during “windows of vulnerability”, i.e., when exposed to intense hormone fluctuations, such as the menopause transition. Indeed, this period is associated with different symptoms, including vasomotor, depressive, and cognitive symptoms, which have all been shown to worsen as women approach menopause. Even though hormonal therapy represents the most effective treatment, side effects have been reported by several studies. Therefore, an increased number of women might prefer the use of alternative medicine for treating menopausal symptoms. N-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFAs) are included among these alternative treatments. We here provide a review of studies investigating the effects of n-3 LCPUFAs on hot flashes and depressive and cognitive disorders in menopausal women. The reported results are scattered and heterogeneous. In conclusion, a beneficial role of n-3 LCPUFAs in hot flashes, and depressive and cognitive symptoms related to menopausal transition is still far from conclusive.

KEYWORDS:

DHA; EPA; affective disorders; cognition; depression; hot flashes; menopausal transition; n-3 LCPUFAs; omega-3; perimenopause

PMID:
29937484
PMCID:
PMC6073395
DOI:
10.3390/ijms19071849
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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