Does Evidence Support Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Dietary supplements that contain omega-3 fatty acids have been widely consumed for years. Researchers have been investigating the benefits of such preparations for cardiovascular, neurological, and psychological conditions. A recently published study on omega-3 fatty acids and depression inspired neurologist Hans-Christoph Diener, MD, PhD, of the Institute for Epidemiology at the University Duisburg-Essen, Germany, to examine scientific publications concerning omega-3 fatty acids or fish-oil capsules in more detail.
@ipshita Diener tells the story of how he stumbled upon an interesting article in Journal of the American Medical Association this past December. It was about a placebo-controlled study that investigated whether omega-3 fatty acids can prevent incident depression. As the study authors reported, treatment with omega-3 preparations in adults aged 50 years or older without clinically relevant symptoms of depression at study initiation was associated with a small but statistically significant increase in the risk for depression or clinically relevant symptoms of depression. There was no difference in mood scale value, however, over a median follow-up of 5.3 years. According to the study authors, these results did not support the administration of omega-3 preparations for the prevention of depression.