Murakami K, Mizoue T, Sasaki S, Ohta M, Sato M, Matsushita Y et al.. Dietary intake of folate, other B vitamins, and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in relation to depressive symptoms in Japanese adults. Nutrition 24, 140-147

Department of Epidemiology and International Health, Research Institute, International Medical Center of Japan, Tokyo, Japan. <>
Nutrition (Impact Factor: 2.93). 02/2008; 24(2):140-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.nut.2007.10.013
Source: PubMed


Although a favorable effect of dietary folate and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on depression is suggested from epidemiologic studies in Western countries, evidence from non-Western populations is lacking. We examined cross-sectional associations between the intake of folate, other B vitamins, and omega-3 PUFAs and depressive symptoms in Japanese adults.
Subjects were 309 Japanese men and 208 Japanese women 21-67 y of age. Dietary intake was assessed with a validated, brief, self-administered diet history questionnaire. Depressive symptoms were defined as present when subjects had a Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale score > or =16. Adjustment was made for age, body mass index, work place, marital status, occupational physical activity, leisure-time physical activity, current smoking, current alcohol drinking, and job stress score.
The prevalences of depressive symptoms were 36% for men and 37% for women. Folate intake showed a statistically significant, inverse, and linear association with depressive symptoms in men but not in women. The multivariate odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for depressive symptoms for men in the first, second, third, and fourth quartiles of folate intake were 1.00 (reference), 0.78 (0.38-1.63), 0.57 (0.27-1.18), and 0.50 (0.23-1.06), respectively (P for trend = 0.045). No statistically significant linear association was observed for the intake of riboflavin, pyridoxine, cobalamin, total omega-3 PUFAs, alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, or docosahexaenoic acid in either sex.
Higher dietary intake of folate was associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms in Japanese men but not women.

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    • "To date, only one study has investigated the relationship between n-3 PUFA consumption and depressive symptoms in a general Japanese population [26]. In this cross-sectional study of 547 municipal employees (21–67 years old) no statistically significant linear relationship was observed for n-3 PUFAs, alinolenic acid, EPA, or docosahexaenoic acid in either sex [26]. One plausible explanation for this difference in results compared with the present study is the ceiling effect. "
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    • "Data from cross-sectional studies exploring the association between omega-3 dietary intake and the prevalence of depression are of a various and contrasting nature. Several studies reported inconclusive results, especially in nonclinical populations [61, 62]. An inverse relationship between intake of omega-3 intake and depression was observed in some studies, although after adjusting for other lifestyle confounders the relationship was no longer significant, suggesting that the relation between depressed mood and omega-3 fatty acids intake may reflect a wider association between depressed mood and lifestyle [63, 64]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The changing of omega-6/omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in the food supply of Western societies occurred over the last 150 years is thought to promote the pathogenesis of many inflammatory-related diseases, including depressive disorders. Several epidemiological studies reported a significant inverse correlation between intake of oily fish and depression or bipolar disorders. Studies conducted specifically on the association between omega-3 intake and depression reported contrasting results, suggesting that the preventive role of omega-3 PUFA may depend also on other factors, such as overall diet quality and the social environment. Accordingly, tertiary prevention with omega-3 PUFA supplement in depressed patients has reached greater effectiveness during the last recent years, although definitive statements on their use in depression therapy cannot be yet freely asserted. Among the biological properties of omega-3 PUFA, their anti-inflammatory effects and their important role on the structural changing of the brain should be taken into account to better understand the possible pathway through which they can be effective both in preventing or treating depression. However, the problem of how to correct the inadequate supply of omega-3 PUFA in the Westernized countries' diet is a priority in order to set food and health policies and also dietary recommendations for individuals and population groups.
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    • "Conversely, the fourth cross-sectional study in men, aged 70–90 years, does not detected a relationship between symptoms of depression and vitamins B6, B9, and B12 [38]. Despite the results described above, it has been documented that vitamins B6 and B12 are involved in the synthesis of monoamines neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and epinephrine [39, 40]. "
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