Monday, June 26, 2006
Omega 3's and Depression
According to a pilot study done in Israel, children who suffer from clinical depression can find help with omega 3 fatty acids, the type that are found in fish oils. In the American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers explain that study results in adults with major depressive disorder benefit from omega 3 fatty acids as an add on therapy, but the effects of this supplement with the disorder in children is unknown. Researchers studied 28 depressed children between six and twelve years of age, who were randomly given omega 3 fatty acids or a placebo. To assess the children, standardized depression scores were used at the start of the study and throughout the sixteen week trial. Also included in the trial were twenty children who remained for at least one month. Seven out of ten in the active group and none of the children in the placebo group had a reduction in their depression scores of more than fifty percent. Four children who received the omega 3 fatty acids went into remission. And there were no relevant side effects reported. The fatty acid used was a combination of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid that is available over the counter. The researchers concluded that the effects of these supplements were highly effective and they believe that this was the first study of its kind with children.