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Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995-.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet].

Fat food for a bad mood. Could we treat and prevent depression in Type 2 diabetes by means of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: a review of the evidence

Review published: 2005.

Bibliographic details: Pouwer F, Nijpels G, Beekman A T, Dekker J M, van Dam R M, Heine R J, Snoek F J.  Fat food for a bad mood. Could we treat and prevent depression in Type 2 diabetes by means of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: a review of the evidence. Diabetic Medicine 2005; 22(11): 1465-1475. [PubMed: 16241908]

Abstract

AIMS: Evidence strongly suggests that depression is a common complication of Type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, there is considerable room to improve the effectiveness of pharmacological antidepressant agents, as in only 50-60% of the depressed subjects with diabetes does pharmacotherapy lead to remission of depression. The aim of the present paper was to review whether polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) of the omega-3 family could be used for the prevention and treatment of depression in Type 2 diabetes.

METHODS: MEDLINE database and published reference lists were used to identify studies that examined the associations between omega-3 PUFA and depression. To examine potential side-effects, such as on glycaemic control, studies regarding the use of omega-3 supplements in Type 2 diabetes were also reviewed.

RESULTS: Epidemiological and clinical studies suggest that a high intake of omega-3 PUFA protects against the development of depression. There is also some evidence that a low intake of omega-3 is associated with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, but the results are less conclusive. Results from randomized controlled trials in non-diabetic subjects with major depression show that eicosapentaenoic acid is an effective adjunct treatment of depression in diabetes, while docosahexanoic acid is not. Moreover, consumption of omega-3 PUFA reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and may therefore indirectly decrease depression in Type 2 diabetes, via the reduction of cardiovascular complications.

CONCLUSIONS: Supplementation with omega-3 PUFA, in particular eicosapentaenoic acid, may be a safe and helpful tool to reduce the incidence of depression and to treat depression in Type 2 diabetes. Further studies are now justified to test these hypotheses in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

CRD has determined that this article meets the DARE scientific quality criteria for a systematic review.

Copyright © 2014 University of York.

PMID: 16241908

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