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A meta-analytic review of double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids.
J Clin Psychiatry. 2007 Jul; 68(7):1056-61.JC

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Evidence has indicated an association between depression and low dietary intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). However, clinical trials examining the therapeutic benefit of omega-3 PUFAs in depression showed inconsistent results. The goal of this study is to systematically evaluate the antidepressant efficacy of omega-3 PUFAs by using meta-analytic method.

DATA SOURCES

MEDLINE, Embase, and PsycINFO databases were searched from 1966 through August 2006 using the key words (depression OR depressive disorder OR mood disorder) AND (omega-3 OR EPA OR DHA OR poly-unsaturated fatty acid OR fish oil). The search was limited to literature in English and clinical trials.

STUDY SELECTION

Ten double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in patients with mood disorders receiving omega-3 PUFAs with the treatment period lasting 4 weeks or longer were included.

DATA EXTRACTION

Effect size (ES) of each individual study was derived by computing the standardized mean difference. A random-effects model was used to pool the ESs of all included studies.

DATA SYNTHESIS

When pooling the results of 10 included studies (N = 329), we found a significant antidepressant effect of omega-3 PUFAs (ES = 0.61, p = .003). Likewise, omega-3 PUFAs significantly improved depression in patients with clearly defined depression (ES = 0.69, p = .002) or with bipolar disorder (ES = 0.69, p = .0009). The dosage of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) did not change the antidepressant efficacy significantly. However, significant heterogeneity among these studies and publication bias were noted.

CONCLUSIONS

Although our meta-analysis showed significant antidepressant efficacy of omega-3 PUFAs, it is still premature to validate this finding due to publication bias and heterogeneity. More large-scale, well-controlled trials are needed to find out the favorable target subjects, therapeutic dose of EPA, and the composition of omega-3 PUFAs in treating depression.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital-Kaohsiung Medical Center, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.No affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Meta-Analysis
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

17685742

Citation

Lin, Pao-Yen, and Kuan-Pin Su. "A Meta-analytic Review of Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trials of Antidepressant Efficacy of Omega-3 Fatty Acids." The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, vol. 68, no. 7, 2007, pp. 1056-61.
Lin PY, Su KP. A meta-analytic review of double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids. J Clin Psychiatry. 2007;68(7):1056-61.
Lin, P. Y., & Su, K. P. (2007). A meta-analytic review of double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 68(7), 1056-61.
Lin PY, Su KP. A Meta-analytic Review of Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trials of Antidepressant Efficacy of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. J Clin Psychiatry. 2007;68(7):1056-61. PubMed PMID: 17685742.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - A meta-analytic review of double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids. AU - Lin,Pao-Yen, AU - Su,Kuan-Pin, PY - 2007/8/10/pubmed PY - 2007/9/29/medline PY - 2007/8/10/entrez SP - 1056 EP - 61 JF - The Journal of clinical psychiatry JO - J Clin Psychiatry VL - 68 IS - 7 N2 - OBJECTIVE: Evidence has indicated an association between depression and low dietary intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). However, clinical trials examining the therapeutic benefit of omega-3 PUFAs in depression showed inconsistent results. The goal of this study is to systematically evaluate the antidepressant efficacy of omega-3 PUFAs by using meta-analytic method. DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE, Embase, and PsycINFO databases were searched from 1966 through August 2006 using the key words (depression OR depressive disorder OR mood disorder) AND (omega-3 OR EPA OR DHA OR poly-unsaturated fatty acid OR fish oil). The search was limited to literature in English and clinical trials. STUDY SELECTION: Ten double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in patients with mood disorders receiving omega-3 PUFAs with the treatment period lasting 4 weeks or longer were included. DATA EXTRACTION: Effect size (ES) of each individual study was derived by computing the standardized mean difference. A random-effects model was used to pool the ESs of all included studies. DATA SYNTHESIS: When pooling the results of 10 included studies (N = 329), we found a significant antidepressant effect of omega-3 PUFAs (ES = 0.61, p = .003). Likewise, omega-3 PUFAs significantly improved depression in patients with clearly defined depression (ES = 0.69, p = .002) or with bipolar disorder (ES = 0.69, p = .0009). The dosage of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) did not change the antidepressant efficacy significantly. However, significant heterogeneity among these studies and publication bias were noted. CONCLUSIONS: Although our meta-analysis showed significant antidepressant efficacy of omega-3 PUFAs, it is still premature to validate this finding due to publication bias and heterogeneity. More large-scale, well-controlled trials are needed to find out the favorable target subjects, therapeutic dose of EPA, and the composition of omega-3 PUFAs in treating depression. SN - 1555-2101 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/17685742/A_meta_analytic_review_of_double_blind_placebo_controlled_trials_of_antidepressant_efficacy_of_omega_3_fatty_acids_ L2 - http://www.psychiatrist.com/jcp/article/pages/2007/v68n07/v68n0712.aspx DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -