SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Supplements, Health & Nutrition - Europe US edition | APAC edition

News > Research

Read more breaking news

 

 

DHA omega-3 may lower anxiety risk

By Stephen Daniells , 30-Oct-2012
Last updated on 30-Oct-2012 at 15:08 GMT2012-10-30T15:08:28Z

DHA omega-3 may lower anxiety risk

Increased intakes of the omega-3 DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are associated with a reduced risk of anxiety, a study from Australia has reported for the first time.

The highest intakes of DHA were associated with a 50% reduction in the risk of anxiety disorders, according to an observation study involving 935 women.

Writing in the British Journal of Nutrition , researchers from Deakin University and The University of Melbourne also report that women with higher intakes of DHA were also about 70% less likely to report a current depressive disorder, compared with women with the lowest average levels.

“These are the first observational data to indicate a role for DHA in anxiety disorders, but suggest that the relationship between DHA and depressive disorders may be non-linear,” wrote the researchers, led by Melbourne’s Dr Felice Jacka.

Caution

Despite the positive conclusions of the researchers, Harry Rice, PhD, VP of scientific and regulatory affairs for GOED, the omega-3 trade association, told NutraIngredients-USA that the researchers have over-interpreted the results.

“A growing body of epidemiological evidence suggests that low dietary intake and/or tissue levels of the long-chain omega-3s are associated with both anxiety and depression. Due to diagnostic heterogeneity resulting in what can be very dissimilar subject pools, results from both clinical and observational research have been equivocal at best,” he said.

“The current results, which I have no reservation describing as over-interpreted or chance findings, just add to the confusion. Depression and anxiety are not homogeneous entities and shouldn't be treated as such.

“While I believe the O-3s are beneficial for the treatment of anxiety and depression, I would be remiss to pretend the evidence was compelling today.”    

Study details

The Melbourne-based scientists analyzed data from 935 women aged between 20 and 93 years. Dietary intakes of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids were assessed using a dietary questionnaire and psychological symptoms were assessed using the General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12). A separate clinical interview was used to assess depressive and anxiety disorders.

Results indicated that only DHA intake was associated with both anxiety and depression in the women studied. No benefits were reported for intakes of linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, arachidonic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, or docosapentaenoic acid.

While the authors claim this to be the first observational study to report a link between the DHA and anxiety disorders, they note there is some clinical and experimental evidence to support the findings.

“Further research should now examine the potential of DHA as a treatment strategy in anxiety and focus on determining the optimal level of DHA intake in the prevention and treatment of depression,” they concluded.

Source: British Journal of Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, FirstView Articles, doi: 10.1017/S0007114512004102
“Dietary intake of fish and PUFA, and clinical depressive and anxiety disorders in women”
Authors: F.N. Jacka, J.A. Pasco, L.J. Williams, B.J. Meyer, R.Digger, M. Berk

Related products

Live Supplier Webinars

Polyphenols tipped to become the way to innovate in Sports Nutrition
Fytexia
Alpha & Omega in Sports Nutrition – Using Omega 3’s and A-GPC to improve performance and recovery.
KD Pharma
Orally bioavailable standardized botanical derivatives in sport nutrition: special focus on recovery in post-intense physical activities
Indena
Collagen in motion: move freely and keep your injuries in check
Leading manufacturer of gelatine and collagen peptides
Life’s too short for slow proteins. Whey proteins hydrolysates: Fast delivery for enhanced performance
Arla Foods Ingredients
What it Takes to Compete and Win in Today’s Sports Nutrition Market
Capsugel
Sports Nutrition Snapshot: Key regional drivers and delivery format innovations
William Reed Business Media
Gutsy performance: How can microbiome modulation help athletes and weekend warriors
William Reed Business Media
Pushing the boundaries: Where’s the line between ‘cutting edge nutrition’ and doping
William Reed Business Media

On demand Supplier Webinars

High-amylose maize starch may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes: what does this qualified health claim mean?
Ingredion
Balancing Innovation and Risk in Sports Nutrition Ingredients
NSF-International
Explaining bio-hacking: is there a marketing opportunity for food companies?
William Reed Business Media
Personalized Nutrition – how an industry can take part in shaping the future of Nutrition
BASF Nutrition & Health
Find out Nutritional and ingredient lifecycle solutions and strategies!
Roquette
Is the time rIpe for I-nutrition?
William Reed Business Media
The Advantage of Outsourcing Fermentation-based Manufacturing Processes
Evonik Health Care
All supplier webinars