The role of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3PUFAs) in affective disorders

Valentina Ciappolino, Giuseppe Delvecchio, Carlo Agostoni, Alessandra Mazzocchi, Alfredo Carlo Altamura, Paolo Brambilla

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Background Among emerging treatments for depressive disorders several studies suggested that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3PUFAs) supplementation can be used. However, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) differ in terms of biochemistry, metabolism and therapeutic effects. Therefore, a clear picture of their specific and different role on affective disorders has not yet emerged. Objectives To investigate the effects of n-3PUFAs on affective disorders including major depression, bipolar disorder and perinatal depression. Methods a comprehensive search on PUBMED, Medline and PsychINFO of all RCTs using n-3PUFAs patients with depressive symptoms published up to April 2016 was performed. We included trials that examined unipolar or bipolar disorder and trials that investigated depressive symptoms in relation to pregnancy. Trials were excluded if the depressive symptomatology was related to other primary organic diseases. Results 264 RCT studies were identified but only 36 met the inclusion criteria. First, it has been reported that n-3PUFAs supplementation might have clinical benefits on depressive symptoms. Second, EPA supplement, rather than DHA, seems to be more effective in treating major depression. Third, n-3PUFAs can have beneficial effects in bipolar depression but not in perinatal depression. Conclusions there are only some evidence on the efficacy of n-3PUFAs in affective disorders especially to unipolar and bipolar depression not powered enough to confirm a therapeutic effect for affective disorder. Therefore, further studies with larger and more homogeneous samples, are required to confirm these effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-47
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume224
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2017

Fingerprint

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Mood Disorders
Depression
Bipolar Disorder
Eicosapentaenoic Acid
Docosahexaenoic Acids
Therapeutic Uses
Depressive Disorder
Biochemistry
Pregnancy

Keywords

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • DHA
  • EPA
  • Mood disorders
  • n-3PUFAs
  • Omega3
  • Post-partum
  • Pregnancy
  • Puerperium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

The role of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3PUFAs) in affective disorders. / Ciappolino, Valentina; Delvecchio, Giuseppe; Agostoni, Carlo; Mazzocchi, Alessandra; Altamura, Alfredo Carlo; Brambilla, Paolo.

In: Journal of Affective Disorders, Vol. 224, 15.12.2017, p. 32-47.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

@article{a980bb2eede740d2a7cac388043804fe,
title = "The role of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3PUFAs) in affective disorders",
abstract = "Background Among emerging treatments for depressive disorders several studies suggested that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3PUFAs) supplementation can be used. However, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) differ in terms of biochemistry, metabolism and therapeutic effects. Therefore, a clear picture of their specific and different role on affective disorders has not yet emerged. Objectives To investigate the effects of n-3PUFAs on affective disorders including major depression, bipolar disorder and perinatal depression. Methods a comprehensive search on PUBMED, Medline and PsychINFO of all RCTs using n-3PUFAs patients with depressive symptoms published up to April 2016 was performed. We included trials that examined unipolar or bipolar disorder and trials that investigated depressive symptoms in relation to pregnancy. Trials were excluded if the depressive symptomatology was related to other primary organic diseases. Results 264 RCT studies were identified but only 36 met the inclusion criteria. First, it has been reported that n-3PUFAs supplementation might have clinical benefits on depressive symptoms. Second, EPA supplement, rather than DHA, seems to be more effective in treating major depression. Third, n-3PUFAs can have beneficial effects in bipolar depression but not in perinatal depression. Conclusions there are only some evidence on the efficacy of n-3PUFAs in affective disorders especially to unipolar and bipolar depression not powered enough to confirm a therapeutic effect for affective disorder. Therefore, further studies with larger and more homogeneous samples, are required to confirm these effects.",
keywords = "Bipolar disorder, Depression, DHA, EPA, Mood disorders, n-3PUFAs, Omega3, Post-partum, Pregnancy, Puerperium",
author = "Valentina Ciappolino and Giuseppe Delvecchio and Carlo Agostoni and Alessandra Mazzocchi and Altamura, {Alfredo Carlo} and Paolo Brambilla",
year = "2017",
month = "12",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1016/j.jad.2016.12.034",
language = "English",
volume = "224",
pages = "32--47",
journal = "Journal of Affective Disorders",
issn = "0165-0327",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The role of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3PUFAs) in affective disorders

AU - Ciappolino, Valentina

AU - Delvecchio, Giuseppe

AU - Agostoni, Carlo

AU - Mazzocchi, Alessandra

AU - Altamura, Alfredo Carlo

AU - Brambilla, Paolo

PY - 2017/12/15

Y1 - 2017/12/15

N2 - Background Among emerging treatments for depressive disorders several studies suggested that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3PUFAs) supplementation can be used. However, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) differ in terms of biochemistry, metabolism and therapeutic effects. Therefore, a clear picture of their specific and different role on affective disorders has not yet emerged. Objectives To investigate the effects of n-3PUFAs on affective disorders including major depression, bipolar disorder and perinatal depression. Methods a comprehensive search on PUBMED, Medline and PsychINFO of all RCTs using n-3PUFAs patients with depressive symptoms published up to April 2016 was performed. We included trials that examined unipolar or bipolar disorder and trials that investigated depressive symptoms in relation to pregnancy. Trials were excluded if the depressive symptomatology was related to other primary organic diseases. Results 264 RCT studies were identified but only 36 met the inclusion criteria. First, it has been reported that n-3PUFAs supplementation might have clinical benefits on depressive symptoms. Second, EPA supplement, rather than DHA, seems to be more effective in treating major depression. Third, n-3PUFAs can have beneficial effects in bipolar depression but not in perinatal depression. Conclusions there are only some evidence on the efficacy of n-3PUFAs in affective disorders especially to unipolar and bipolar depression not powered enough to confirm a therapeutic effect for affective disorder. Therefore, further studies with larger and more homogeneous samples, are required to confirm these effects.

AB - Background Among emerging treatments for depressive disorders several studies suggested that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3PUFAs) supplementation can be used. However, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) differ in terms of biochemistry, metabolism and therapeutic effects. Therefore, a clear picture of their specific and different role on affective disorders has not yet emerged. Objectives To investigate the effects of n-3PUFAs on affective disorders including major depression, bipolar disorder and perinatal depression. Methods a comprehensive search on PUBMED, Medline and PsychINFO of all RCTs using n-3PUFAs patients with depressive symptoms published up to April 2016 was performed. We included trials that examined unipolar or bipolar disorder and trials that investigated depressive symptoms in relation to pregnancy. Trials were excluded if the depressive symptomatology was related to other primary organic diseases. Results 264 RCT studies were identified but only 36 met the inclusion criteria. First, it has been reported that n-3PUFAs supplementation might have clinical benefits on depressive symptoms. Second, EPA supplement, rather than DHA, seems to be more effective in treating major depression. Third, n-3PUFAs can have beneficial effects in bipolar depression but not in perinatal depression. Conclusions there are only some evidence on the efficacy of n-3PUFAs in affective disorders especially to unipolar and bipolar depression not powered enough to confirm a therapeutic effect for affective disorder. Therefore, further studies with larger and more homogeneous samples, are required to confirm these effects.

KW - Bipolar disorder

KW - Depression

KW - DHA

KW - EPA

KW - Mood disorders

KW - n-3PUFAs

KW - Omega3

KW - Post-partum

KW - Pregnancy

KW - Puerperium

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85009770871&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85009770871&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.jad.2016.12.034

DO - 10.1016/j.jad.2016.12.034

M3 - Review article

AN - SCOPUS:85009770871

VL - 224

SP - 32

EP - 47

JO - Journal of Affective Disorders

JF - Journal of Affective Disorders

SN - 0165-0327

ER -