Improvement of major depression is associated with increased erythrocyte DHA

Meyer, Barbara J. and Grenyer, Brin F. S. and Crowe, Trevor and Owen, Alice J. and Grigonis-Deane, Elizabeth M. and Howe, Peter R. C. (2013) Improvement of major depression is associated with increased erythrocyte DHA. Lipids, 48 (9). pp. 863-868. ISSN 0024-4201


The aim of this study was to determine if changes in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid status following tuna oil supplementation correlated with changes in scores of depression. A total of 95 volunteers receiving treatment for major depression were randomised to consume 8 × 1 g capsules per day of HiDHA (2 g DHA, 0.6 g EPA and 10 mg Vitamin E) or olive oil (placebo) for 16 weeks, whilst undergoing weekly counseling sessions by trained clinical psychologists using a standard empirically validated psychotherapy. Depression status was assessed using the 17 item Hamilton rating scale for depression and the Beck Depression Inventory by a psychodiagnostician who was blind to the treatment. Blood was taken at baseline and 16 weeks (n = 48) for measurement of erythrocyte fatty acids. With HiDHA supplementation, erythrocyte DHA content rose from 4.1 ± 0.2 to 7.9 ± 0.4 % (mean ± SEM, p < 0.001) of total fatty acids but did not change (4.0 ± 0.2 to 4.1 ± 0.2 %) in the olive oil group. The mean changes in scores of depression did not differ significantly between the two groups (-12.2 ± 2.1 for tuna oil and -14.4 ± 2.3 for olive oil). However, analysis of covariance showed that in the fish oil group there was a significant correlation (r = -0.51) between the change in erythrocyte DHA and the change in scores of depression (p < 0.05). Further study of the relationship between DHA and depression is warranted.

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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/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2017 06:07
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2017 06:07
Uncontrolled Keywords: n-3 Fatty acids; Nutrition; Depression; Clinical and Experimental Biochemistry; Psychiatry; Drug Literature Index
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1101 Medical Biochemistry and Metabolomics > 110104 Medical Biochemistry: Lipids
Fields of Research (2020): 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3205 Medical biochemistry and metabolomics > 320504 Medical biochemistry - lipids
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
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