Omega-3 or B vitamins fail to benefit depressive symptoms, but low doses may be at fault

Omega-3 or B vitamins fail to benefit depressive symptoms, but low doses may be at fault

Supplements of B vitamins or omega-3 fatty acids may not benefit depressive symptoms in heart disease survivors, says a new study, but low doses and methodology flaws have led a leading industry figure to discount the results.

Data published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicated that long-term, low-dose supplementation with B vitamins or omega-3s had no effects on depressive symptoms, and that the omega-3s may actually worsen such symptoms.

Researchers from the University of Paris and the Victor Segalen University, Bordeaux 2, in France conducted a trial with 2,501 cardiovascular disease survivors. Participants were assigned to receive either 0.56 mg per day of 5-methyl-tetrahydrofolate, 3 mg per day of B6 and 0.02 mg per day of B12, or 600 mg per day of EPA plus DHA for an average of 4.7 years.

However, the study’s findings were discounted by Harry Rice, PhD, VP of scientific and regulatory affairs for GOED, the omega-3 trade association. Speaking to NutraIngredients-USA, Dr Rice said: “While the jury remains split on whether or not EPA and DHA effectively treat depression, results from the current study, using a relatively low dose of EPA and DHA, do little to advance our understanding of the potential role of the long-chain omega-3s in treating depression.

“As noted by the authors, an important limitation of the current study was that it was ‘based on ancillary data analyses of a secondary outcome’. Furthermore, the instrument used to assess depression was administered at years 3 and 5 of follow-up, but not at baseline.

“Unfortunately, this methodological faux pas, along with the low dose of EPA and DHA, leave me no choice but to discount the results.”

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.035253
“Supplementation with B vitamins or n−3 fatty acids and depressive symptoms in cardiovascular disease survivors: ancillary findings from the SUpplementation with FOLate, vitamins B-6 and B-12 and/or OMega-3 fatty acids (SU.FOL.OM3) randomized trial”
Authors: V.A. Andreeva, P. Galan, M. Torres, C. Julia, S. Hercberg, E. Kesse-Guyot

Related News

Omega-3s may lower heart failure risk by 15%: Meta-analysis

Omega-3s may lower heart failure risk by 15%: Meta-analysis

Omega-3 supplements could help to battle depression in elderly people, the new small scale study suggests.

Omega-3 supplementation backed for depression in elderly

Diet and depression: New studies should follow CVD research models

Diet and depression: New studies should follow CVD research models, researchers argue

Low dose of vitamin D not associated with depression benefits

Low dose of vitamin D not associated with depression benefits

Marine omega-3s may reduce depressive symptoms: Study

Marine omega-3s may reduce depressive symptoms: Study

Omega-3 linked to better memory in former depressives: Study

Omega-3 linked to better memory in former depressives: Study

"Who are you calling senile!? Bring me my B12 young'n..."

Folic acid plus B12 shows brain function benefits in older people

“Why would you expect a low dose (<400mg) of EPA+DHA to have an effect on depression in non-depressed subjects?” asks GOED's Dr Harry Rice.

Omega-3 may benefit depression symptoms, but only for depressive people

Omega-3 may ease depression symptoms, slash dementia risk: RCT

Omega-3 may ease depression symptoms, slash dementia risk: RCT

Comments (1)

OmegafortSCC - 01 Jun 2012 | 11:15

Preferred Omega-3 Daily Dosage Is Over 1 Gram

Indeed, It's worth noting that the U.S. Food & Nutrition Board recommends an Omega-3 fatty acids intake for people above age 19 at 1.6 grams daily for men and 1.1 for women, while the American Heart Association puts it at 1.25 g. We offer much more information - scientifically-backed studies, analysis, and more - at www.ExpertOmega3.org.

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.