Omega-3 Can Improve Cognitive Depression
- Sep 14, 2018 -

Thirty-seven weeks of 2018  


A new study published in the Journal of Heart Failure of the American College of Cardiology has found that EPA and DHA have some beneficial effects on cognitive depression in patients with heart failure. Symptoms of cognitive depression include sadness and pessimism, while physical depression includes physical fatigue and sleep disorders.

The randomized controlled trial was designed to assess the effects of Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) on depression and psychomotor symptoms in patients with chronic heart failure and depression.

Before the trial, 108 subjects were randomly divided into three groups: the first group received 2 grams of EPA / DHA supplements a day at a ratio of 2 to 1, the second group received 2 grams of EPA, and the third group received the same amount of placebo as the control group. The process lasted 12 weeks, during which the researchers performed blood tests on subjects (Omega-3 index, RBC levels of EPA and DHA).

The Omega-3 index was 6.79% in the first group, 6.32% in the second group and 4.61% in the control group. The Omega-3 index was 7.32%, 7.11% and 4.42% for those who completed the test and took at least 70% of the capsules (80 people in all). This indicates that the Omega-3 index is dose-dependent and can significantly improve the Omega-3 index in only three months.

In addition, the SF-36 questionnaire was used to analyze the social function of the subjects. The results showed that the social ability of the first group of subjects was significantly improved, and the second group of subjects was the same.

Studies show that there is a significant correlation between Omega-3 index and cognitive depression. More specifically, a higher Omega-3 index means a lower cognitive depression score for the Bailey Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), the most widely used depression scale.

It's interesting and interesting, but there are also some points to note. First, this is a pilot study, so the hypotheses have not been compared many times, which means there may be some contingency (that is, one of the 19 results differs between the intervention group and the placebo group).

Second, perhaps because the study was relatively small in size and limited in energy, Omega-3 did not show significant effects on a variety of psychometric measures, especially on the Hamilton Depression Rating (HAM-D). Therefore, the researchers used BDI-II cognitive depression indicators to show the correlation between depressive symptoms and Omega-3 index.

One of the study's authors, Dr. Bill Harris, often commented on the therapeutic and preventive dilemmas facing nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids and co-inventor of the Omega-3 index test. He says this is a study of people who have been depressed, which means researchers are looking for high doses of Omega-3 (possibly higher than those used in the study) to improve depressive symptoms, just like drugs.

Bill Harris argues that Omega-3 fatty acids are generally thought to be more effective in preventing than treating diseases, and that if used as a treatment, doses must be very high (4 grams are typical "drug" doses) and blood levels must be measured. Bill Harris suggests that in larger follow-up studies, researchers should choose only one supplement, such as a pure EPA product, and increase the dose and duration of the study.

The study's authors are also exploring several different supplement options, focusing on recent evidence that EPA may be more effective in treating depression, whereas DHA may be only effective for general cognitive symptoms. Bill Harris said it was uncertain whether EPA or DHA played a greater role in the study, but high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in the blood did improve depressive symptoms in patients with heart failure and depression, which is a significant message for future treatment of depression.

September 14, 2018