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Omega 3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Cardiovascular Diseases and Depression

 

 



Cardiovasc Psychiatry Neurol. 2009;2009:725310. Epub 2009 Sep 27.


Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (n-3 PUFAs) in Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) and Depression: The Missing Link?

Chang JP, Chen YT, Su KP. Department of Psychiatry, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 40447, Taiwan.



Background: Based on epidemiological data, clinical trials, and meta-analytic reviews, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) seem to be a biological link between depression and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).

Presentation: Involvement of n-3 PUFAs in depression and CVDs may be associated with a chronic, low-grade, inflammation. We hypothesize that n-3 PUFAs link depression and CVDs via "PUFA-prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) cascade."

Testing: To further support our hypothesis, case-control studies are needed to test the role of COX2 and PLA2 functions in depression and in CVDs. In addition, the effects of n-3 PUFAs on cardiovascular markers in depression and on depressive symptoms in CVDs should be investigated in clinical trials. Finally, the effects of manipulating COX2 and PLA2 functions on depression-like behaviors and cardiovascular functions could be explored in animal studies.

Implications: n-3 PUFAs might be a promising treatment for both cardiovascular diseases and depression via its anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective effects.


PMID: 20029628 [PubMed - in process]

 

 

 

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  • Although not widely known by the public it is now well established that both CVD and depression are inflammatory diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids found primarily in oily fish (e.g. salmon, mackeral, sardines) but also in some nuts and seeds (e.g. flaxseeds/linseeds) are converted in the body into powerful "local hormones" known as prostaglandins that have potent anti-inflammatory effects. Given that CVD is more common in those with depression the hypothesis presented in this study would seem to be very logical and pave the way for more intervention studies with high omega-3 diets and omega-3 supplements.

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