London | Supplementation of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, the kind found in fish, has been linked to the reduction in major depressive disorder (MDD), scientists say.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), depression is a major cause of disease burden worldwide, affecting an estimated 350 million people, researchers said. A new analysis supports the link between intake of Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) omega-3 fatty acids, the kind found in fish, and reduction in MDD, they said.
This new meta-analysis nuances earlier research on the importance of long chain omega-3s in MDD, said the study’s lead author Dr RJT Mocking, from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The meta-analysis includes 13 studies with 1,233 participants and, according to researchers, showed a benefit for EPA and DHA comparable to effects reported in meta-analyses of antidepressants.
The effect was greater in studies supplementing higher doses of EPA and performed in patients already on antidepressants. According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, in 2014, an estimated 15.7 million adults aged 18 or older in the US had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.
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