Addition of omega-3 fatty acid to maintenance medication treatment
for recurrent unipolar depressive disorder

by
Nemets B, Stahl Z, Belmaker RH.
Ministry of Health Mental Health Center,
Faculty of Health Sciences,
Ben Gurion University of the Negev,
Beer-Sheva, Israel.
Am J Psychiatry 2002 Mar;159(3):477-9


ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Studies have reported that countries with high rates of fish oil consumption have low rates of depressive disorder. The authors studied a specific omega-3 fatty acid, the ethyl ester of eicosapentaenoic acid (E-EPA), as an adjunct to treatment for depressive episodes occurring in patients with recurrent unipolar depressive disorder who were receiving maintenance antidepressant therapy. METHOD: Twenty patients with a current diagnosis of major depressive disorder participated in a 4-week, parallel-group, double-blind addition of either placebo or E-EPA to ongoing antidepressant therapy. Seventeen of the patients were women, and three were men. RESULTS: Highly significant benefits of the addition of the omega-3 fatty acid compared with placebo were found by week 3 of treatment. CONCLUSIONS: It is not possible to distinguish whether E-EPA augments antidepressant action in the manner of lithium or has independent antidepressant properties of its own.
EPA
DHA
Omega-3
Bipolar disorder
Protein kinase C
Essential fatty acids
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)
Antidepressant omega-3 fatty acids
Aging, omega-3 fatty acids and the brain
Depression and polyunsaturated fatty acids
Omega-3 for borderline personality disorder
Cholesterol, essential fatty acids and suicide
Antidepressant activity of omega-3 fatty acids
Ethyl-eicosapentaenoate as an antidepressant
Unsaturated fatty acid deficiency and dopamine

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