Health values

The role of omega-3 fatty acids in mood disorders


The long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) have been shown to play a fundamental role in brain structure and function. Many studies indicate a link between adequate intake of LC-PUFA and lower incidence of depression.


In the past ten years a total of 12 studies using various omega-3 products have been made to establish the influence of fish oil on unipolar and bipolar depression. The majority of the studies have reported positive outcome following supplementation of either EPA ethyl esters or fish oil rich in omega-3. Several propositions have been offered to account for the observed benefits of EPA and LC-PUFA. Three studies revealed that the supplementation of only DHA resulted in no significant benefits on
depressive disorders.


LA Stahl et al (2008) The role of omega-3 fatty acids in mood disorders.
Current Opinion in Investigational Drugs 9, 57-64.