Epidemiological studies suggest that reduced intakes and/or blood levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are associated with increased risk for depression in adults, but data on adolescents are scarce. The objective of this study was to determine whether red blood cell (RBC) levels of EPA+DHA (the omega-3 index) and/or the overall RBC fatty acid profile differ between depressed adolescents (cases) and non-depressed adolescents (controls).
We measured the RBC fatty acid composition of cases admitted to the hospital for depression (n=150) and compared it to that of controls (n=161).
Cases and controls had similar ages, gender proportions, and body mass index (BMI) distributions, but there was a significant difference in racial/ethnic composition due to differences in recruitment sites. The unadjusted odds ratio for case status was 0.72 (95% CI; 0.55-0.95) for a 1% absolute increase in the omega-3 index. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to determine which fatty acids were useful in classifying cases and controls; BMI, age, gender, and race/ethnicity were forced into the model. Seven fatty acids were selected (DHA, myristic, stearic, oleic, trans linoleic, trans palmitoleic, and alpha-linolenic acids) to optimize the model fit to the data. In the adjusted model, the odds ratio was 0.67 (95% CI; 0.49-0.93) for a 1 SD increase in DHA. Adding the seven fatty acid profile to the basic model increased the area under the ROC curve by 12.6% (7.5%-17.6%).
These findings support the hypothesis that adolescent depression is associated with a perturbed RBC fatty acid pattern which includes a reduced omega-3 index. Intervention studies with EPA and DHA should be conducted in this vulnerable population for which few, safe therapeutic options currently exist.
"The omega-3 index was an independent risk factor for all-cause mortality in a study of stable coronary heart disease patients, with higher levels indicating reduced risk . Lower amounts of the omega-3 index were associated with depression in a case-control study of adolescents . In the PUFA FACTOR, for both men and women, these two fatty acids operate in the same direction with similar magnitudes, which supports their summation as a biomarker (although C20:5n3 has been log transformed in the PUFA FACTOR). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Research has shown that several types of erythrocyte fatty acids (i.e., omega-3, omega-6, and trans) are associated with risk for cardiovascular diseases. However, there are complex metabolic and dietary relations among fatty acids, which induce correlations that are typically ignored when using them as risk predictors. A latent variable approach could summarize these complex relations into a few latent variable scores for use in statistical models. Twenty-two red blood cell (RBC) fatty acids were measured in Framingham (N = 3196). The correlation matrix of the fatty acids was modeled using structural equation modeling; the model was tested for goodness-of-fit and gender invariance. Thirteen fatty acids were summarized by three latent variables, and gender invariance was rejected so separate models were developed for men and women. A score was developed for the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) latent variable, which explained about 30% of the variance in the data. The PUFA score included loadings in opposing directions among three omega-3 and three omega-6 fatty acids, and incorporated the biosynthetic and dietary relations among them. Whether the PUFA factor score can improve the performance of risk prediction in cardiovascular diseases remains to be tested.
Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine 04/2014; 2014:160520. DOI:10.1155/2014/160520 · 0.77 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose of review:
To overview the theoretical relevance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the cause of mood disorders, and focus on evaluating the potential therapeutic role of omega-3 fatty acids.
Numerous studies have documented low omega-3 fatty acid levels in those with depressive disorders, and there are plausible biological explanations as to why reduced omega-3 status may predispose to mood disorders as well as to a range of other conditions. Although early studies evaluating the role of omega-3 preparations as treatments of depression were generally positive, the rate of negative or nondifferential studies has increased in recent years. Recent meta-analyses provide an explanation in suggesting that docosahexaenoic acid-weighted preparations may be ineffective while finding support for eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)-weighted preparations.
There is sufficient indicative data favouring EPA-weighted omega-3 supplementation for those with a depressive mood disorder, particular when fish oil is viewed by patients as 'natural,' it has few side effects and is neuroprotective. Recent meta-analyses inform us that intervention studies should focus on EPA-weighted preparations.
Current opinion in psychiatry 10/2012; 26(1). DOI:10.1097/YCO.0b013e32835ab4a7 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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