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Baseline blood levels of omega-3 and depression remission: a secondary analysis of data from a placebo-controlled trial of omega-3 supplements.
J Clin Psychiatry. 2016 Feb; 77(2):e138-43.JC

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Depression is associated with low red blood cell (RBC) levels of 2 omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), suggesting that omega-3 supplements might improve depression. However, clinical trials have produced mixed results. The purpose of this secondary analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial was to determine whether baseline blood levels of omega-3, which are known to vary widely among individuals, predict depression outcomes.

METHOD

The percentages of EPA, DHA, and the omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA) were measured in RBCs at baseline and posttreatment in 122 participants with DSM-IV major depression who were randomly assigned between May 2005 and December 2008 to receive either 50 mg/d of sertraline and a daily dosage of 930 mg EPA/750 mg DHA or sertraline plus placebo. Associations between baseline omega-3 RBC levels and remission of depression (17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score ≤ 7) were analyzed by treatment arm.

RESULTS

Among participants in the omega-3 arm, baseline RBC levels of EPA + DHA (P = .002) and the EPA + DHA:AA ratio (P = .003) were significantly higher among those whose depression subsequently remitted compared with those whose depression did not remit. No associations were detected in the sertraline plus placebo arm. Baseline levels of EPA (P = .03) and the EPA + DHA:AA ratio (P = .04) moderated the relationship between treatment arm and depression outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS

High baseline RBC levels of EPA and DHA and a high EPA + DHA:AA ratio predict favorable depression outcomes in patients receiving omega-3 supplements. Omega-3 supplementation may be an effective treatment for depression, but the requisite dosage and duration of treatment may depend on the patient's baseline level of omega-3 fatty acids.

TRIAL REGISTRATION

ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00116857.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Behavioral Medicine Center, Washington University School of Medicine, 4320 Forest Park Ave, Ste 301, St Louis, MO 63108 carneyr@bmc.wustl.edu.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26930527

Citation

Carney, Robert M., et al. "Baseline Blood Levels of Omega-3 and Depression Remission: a Secondary Analysis of Data From a Placebo-controlled Trial of Omega-3 Supplements." The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, vol. 77, no. 2, 2016, pp. e138-43.
Carney RM, Steinmeyer BC, Freedland KE, et al. Baseline blood levels of omega-3 and depression remission: a secondary analysis of data from a placebo-controlled trial of omega-3 supplements. J Clin Psychiatry. 2016;77(2):e138-43.
Carney, R. M., Steinmeyer, B. C., Freedland, K. E., Rubin, E. H., Rich, M. W., & Harris, W. S. (2016). Baseline blood levels of omega-3 and depression remission: a secondary analysis of data from a placebo-controlled trial of omega-3 supplements. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 77(2), e138-43. https://doi.org/10.4088/JCP.14m09660
Carney RM, et al. Baseline Blood Levels of Omega-3 and Depression Remission: a Secondary Analysis of Data From a Placebo-controlled Trial of Omega-3 Supplements. J Clin Psychiatry. 2016;77(2):e138-43. PubMed PMID: 26930527.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Baseline blood levels of omega-3 and depression remission: a secondary analysis of data from a placebo-controlled trial of omega-3 supplements. AU - Carney,Robert M, AU - Steinmeyer,Brian C, AU - Freedland,Kenneth E, AU - Rubin,Eugene H, AU - Rich,Michael W, AU - Harris,William S, PY - 2014/11/17/received PY - 2015/02/06/accepted PY - 2016/3/2/entrez PY - 2016/3/2/pubmed PY - 2016/7/21/medline SP - e138 EP - 43 JF - The Journal of clinical psychiatry JO - J Clin Psychiatry VL - 77 IS - 2 N2 - OBJECTIVE: Depression is associated with low red blood cell (RBC) levels of 2 omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), suggesting that omega-3 supplements might improve depression. However, clinical trials have produced mixed results. The purpose of this secondary analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial was to determine whether baseline blood levels of omega-3, which are known to vary widely among individuals, predict depression outcomes. METHOD: The percentages of EPA, DHA, and the omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA) were measured in RBCs at baseline and posttreatment in 122 participants with DSM-IV major depression who were randomly assigned between May 2005 and December 2008 to receive either 50 mg/d of sertraline and a daily dosage of 930 mg EPA/750 mg DHA or sertraline plus placebo. Associations between baseline omega-3 RBC levels and remission of depression (17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score ≤ 7) were analyzed by treatment arm. RESULTS: Among participants in the omega-3 arm, baseline RBC levels of EPA + DHA (P = .002) and the EPA + DHA:AA ratio (P = .003) were significantly higher among those whose depression subsequently remitted compared with those whose depression did not remit. No associations were detected in the sertraline plus placebo arm. Baseline levels of EPA (P = .03) and the EPA + DHA:AA ratio (P = .04) moderated the relationship between treatment arm and depression outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: High baseline RBC levels of EPA and DHA and a high EPA + DHA:AA ratio predict favorable depression outcomes in patients receiving omega-3 supplements. Omega-3 supplementation may be an effective treatment for depression, but the requisite dosage and duration of treatment may depend on the patient's baseline level of omega-3 fatty acids. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00116857. SN - 1555-2101 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26930527/Baseline_blood_levels_of_omega_3_and_depression_remission:_a_secondary_analysis_of_data_from_a_placebo_controlled_trial_of_omega_3_supplements_ L2 - http://www.psychiatrist.com/jcp/article/pages/2016/v77n02/v77n0202.aspx DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -