Systematic review concludes omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for older adults with mild to moderate depression

A systematic review concludes that omega-3 fatty acids may be used to treat older people with mild to moderate depression. The systematic review, which was published in the journal Nutrition Research, analyzed existing randomized control trials on the potential benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in older adults with depression.

  • Depression is an increasing psychological problem in older adults.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids have been previously shown to be promising nutrients for treating depression, but there are currently no systematic reviews available that evaluated these effects.
  • Researchers from Keimyung University in South Korea carried out the analysis to provide evidence for the┬ápotential benefit of omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of depressive symptoms of older people who are aged 65 years old or older.
  • Six studies involving a total of 4,605 participants were included in the review.
  • They divided the participants into two groups: well-being mental health group and depressive group.
  • In the well-being mental health group, researchers found that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids did not significantly affect the depressed mood of the participants.
  • In the depressive group, omega-3 supplementation significantly improved the depressed mood of the participants compared with placebo.

In conclusion, these findings suggest that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation effectively improves the mood of older adults with mild to moderate depression.

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Journal Reference:

Bae J-H, Kim G. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND META-ANALYSIS OF OMEGA-3-FATTY ACIDS IN ELDERLY PATIENTS WITH DEPRESSION. Nutrition Research. February 2018; 50: 1-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.nutres.2017.10.013

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