Omega-3 Fatty Acids
May Enhance Well-Being
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an omega-3
fatty acid found in fish oil (and VRPs Ethyl EPA™), relieves
symptoms of depression, including sadness, anxiety and insomnia,
a recent study found.
Because levels of EPA are lower in depressed patients,
researchers in England studied the antidepressant effect of
ethyl-eicosapentaenoate in 70 patients who suffered from
persistent depression despite ongoing treatment with an adequate
dose of a standard antidepressant such as Zoloft or Prozac or
In the double-blind, randomized study, patients received either
a placebo or EPA at dosages of 1, 2, or 4 grams per day for 12
weeks. The researchers then evaluated the subjects based on
three depression rating scales.
Forty-six, or 88%, of the 52 patients receiving ethyl-eicosapentaenoate
and 14 (78%) of 18 patients taking the placebo completed the
study. The subjects taking 1 gram per day of EPA experienced a
significant improvement compared to the placebo group on all 3
rating scales used to measure depression. Nine of the 13
subjects (or 69%) receiving 1 gram of EPA daily achieved a 50
percent reduction in symptoms of depression. Subjects saw
reduced anxiety, lassitude, and tendencies toward suicide and
increased libido and improved sleep. Only 3 (25%) of 12 patients
taking the placebo experienced an improvement. The subjects
taking 2 and 4 grams of EPA saw similar benefits, but no greater
improvement than those taking 1 gram per day. The researchers
hypothesized that the lack of an additional benefit from higher
dose EPA might be due to the small number of people who were
treated with two or four grams per day. They called for further
studies to see whether higher doses of EPA can have even more of
a benefit than 1 gram.
The researchers concluded, Treatment with ethyl-eicosapentaenoate
at a dosage of 1 g/day was effective in treating depression in
patients who remained depressed despite adequate standard
source of nutrients and supplements.
did we qualify them ?
Peet M, Horrobin DF. A dose-ranging study of the effects of
ethyl-eicosapentaenoate in patients with ongoing depression
despite apparently adequate treatment with standard drugs. Arch
Gen Psychiatry. 2002 Oct;59(10):913-9.
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