Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Food Fats against Depression

25.02.2004


Depression is the most prevalent psychiatric disease. The number of new cases rises and the disease manifests itself at an earlier age.



Depression is lower in populations with higher fish consumption. This leads to the question whether there might be something in fish that prevents depression or more general that is required for proper functioning of the brain.

Fats are major structural components of brain tissue. These fats are special in that they contain DHA. DHA is a fatty acid that can be made in the body only in limited quantities and only if special conditions are met. These conditions depend amongst others on the type of diet. A Western type of diet does not favour the formation of DHA. So it was considered possible that intake of preformed DHA is required for proper functioning of the brain. This brings us back to the association between fish consumption and depression: fish is main source of DHA and other ’higher omega-3 fatty acids’ in the diet.


Instead of estimating fish intake, higher omega-3 fatty acids can be measured in blood. This is what was done at Ghent University. In a first type of study (’case-control study’) it was found that patients with depression have lower levels of higher omega-3 fatty acids than patients without depression. In a second type of study (’follow-up study’) individuals with low and with normal levels of higher omega-3 fatty acids were followed up and the numbers of new cases of depression were measured. The study group consisted of women whose blood was drawn just after delivery. It was found that when EPA, one of the higher omega-3 fish fatty acids was lower, the probability to develop a postpartum depression was higher. We could further demonstrate that relatives of patients with depression also had reduced levels of higher omega-3 fatty acids pointing to a genetic predisposition.

The finding of reduced EPA in maternal blood at delivery was associated with more postpartum depression suggests that the previously found association between high fish consumption and low rate of depression was not due to DHA as first thought but to EPA. Indeed research groups in the UK and in Israel recently reported that beneficial results were obtained when patients with depression were supplemented with EPA but not with DHA.

Armand Christophe | alfa
Further information:
http://www.rug.ac.be

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>