Effects of n-3 fatty acids, EPA v. DHA, on depressive symptoms, quality of life, memory and executive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: a 6-month randomised controlled trial

Sinn, Natalie and Milte, Catherine M. and Street, Steven J. and Buckley, Jonathan D. and Coates, Alison M. and Petkov, John and Howe, Peter R. C. (2012) Effects of n-3 fatty acids, EPA v. DHA, on depressive symptoms, quality of life, memory and executive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: a 6-month randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Nutrition, 107 (11). pp. 1682-1693. ISSN 0007-1145

Abstract

Depressive symptoms may increase the risk of progressing from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to dementia. Consumption of n-3 PUFA may alleviate both cognitive decline and depression. The aim of the present study was to investigate the benefits of supplementing a diet with n-3 PUFA, DHA and EPA, for depressive symptoms, quality of life (QOL) and cognition in elderly people with MCI. We conducted a 6-month double-blind, randomised controlled trial. A total of fifty people aged >65 years with MCI were allocated to receive a supplement rich in EPA (1•67g EPA+0•16g DHA/d; n 17), DHA (1•55g DHA+0•40g EPA/d; n 18) or the n-6 PUFA linoleic acid (LA; 2•2g/d; n 15). Treatment allocation was by minimisation based on age, sex and depressive symptoms (Geriatric Depression Scale, GDS). Physiological and cognitive assessments, questionnaires and fatty acid composition of erythrocytes were obtained at baseline and 6 months (completers: n 40; EPA n 13, DHA n 16, LA n 11). Compared with the LA group, GDS scores improved in the EPA (P=0•04) and DHA (P=0•01) groups and verbal fluency (Initial Letter Fluency) in the DHA group (P=0•04). Improved GDS scores were correlated with increased DHA plus EPA (r 0•39, P=0•02). Improved self-reported physical health was associated with increased DHA. There were no treatment effects on other cognitive or QOL parameters. Increased intakes of DHA and EPA benefited mental health in older people with MCI. Increasing n-3 PUFA intakes may reduce depressive symptoms and the risk of progressing to dementia. This needs to be investigated in larger, depressed samples with MCI.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2017 05:31
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2017 07:07
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dementia; Depression; DHA; EPA; Mild cognitive impairment; n-3 Fatty acids; Lipids, Glycolipids, and Polysaccharides; Memory and Learning; Public Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology; Psychiatry; Drug Literature Index
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1111 Nutrition and Dietetics > 111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920112 Neurodegenerative Disorders Related to Ageing
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1017/S0007114511004788
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/31595

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