Omega-3s ease menopause-related depressive symptoms

January 29th, 2009 - 4:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Jan 29 (IANS) Omega-3s ease distress and depressive symptoms in menopausal and perimenopausal women, according to a new study.Michel Lucas, Universit√© Laval’s Faculty of Medicine and colleagues recruited 120 women aged between 40 and 55 and divided them into two groups.

Women in the first group took three gel capsules containing a total of one gram of EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid of marine origin, every day for eight weeks.

Those in the second group followed the same protocol, but took gel capsules containing sunflower oil without EPA.

Test results before and after the eight-week period indicate that omega-3s significantly improved the condition of women suffering symptoms of psychological distress and mild depression.

“The differences we observed between the two groups are noteworthy,” commented Lucas, “especially considering that omega-3s have very few side effects and are beneficial to cardiovascular health.”

However, no positive effect was observed among a small group of women with more severe depressive symptoms.

Women with hot flashes also noted that their condition improved after consuming omega-3s. At baseline, the number of daily hot flashes was 2.8 and dropped by an average of 1.6 in the group taking omega-3s and by 0.5 in the control group, said a Laval release.

The change that can be attributed to the use of omega-3s, i.e. a decrease of 1.1 hot flashes per day, is equivalent to results obtained with hormone therapy and anti-depressants.

Details were published in the November online edition of Menopause.

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