Unipolar depression has been recognized as one of the major diseases by the World Health Organization in the 21st century. The etiology of depression is complicated and includes genetic factors, stress, aging, and special physical status (pregnancy, metabolic syndrome, and trauma). Numerous animal and human studies have demonstrated that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) are highly correlated to cognition and depression. These nutritional antidepressants, including EPA and DHA, have a range of neurobiological activities contributing to their potential antidepressant effects. Our preclinical and clinical studies have indicated that n-3 PUFA supplementation in addition to standard antidepressant medications may provide synergistic neuroprotective and antioxidant/inflammatory effects. To translate our preliminary findings into clinical application, this paper reviews the existing evidence on the antidepressant effects of n-3 PUFAs and the potential underlying mechanisms, which include modulation of chronic lowgrade inflammation and the corresponding changes in peripheral blood immune biomarkers.
- Fish oil
- Low-grade inflammation
- N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)