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Posts Tagged ‘omega-3’

According to an article in the WSJ , Melinda Beck states that many people are using omega-3 supplements to protect against various ailments, despite the fact that research on omega-3’s benefits is mixed. Recent research published in JAMA suggests that omega-3 fatty acids do not protect against heart attacks, strokes or deaths. Some medical associations, including the American Psychiatric Association, recommend regular consumption of fish rich in omega-3 for most people. Still, according to Paul Coates, director of the Office of Dietary Supplements, “There is no single answer here.” Coates adds, “Given that there is a potential for benefit, and the harm has not yet been fully explored, at reasonable levels of intake, it’s not a bad idea.”

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Medscape (6/24, Brauser, http://tinyurl.com/omega3-depression) reported Omega-3 fatty acid supplements significantly reduce symptoms of major depressive episodes (MDEs) for patients without comorbid anxiety disorders (ADs) compared with those taking placebo, according to a new study of more than 400 patients from 8 Canadian clinics.  Despite the availability of several newer antidepressants over the last 20 years, a substantial proportion of patients experiencing a depressive episode do not respond sufficiently to antidepressant treatment, are unable to tolerate antidepressants in order to obtain or maintain a clinical response, or refuse to take antidepressants despite substantial psychological suffering and disability notes the study author Dr. Lespérance.  Almost 54% of people with depression in the United States use some form of complementary treatment. In addition, the omega-3 supplements “seemed to be more efficacious for patients as a stand-alone treatment in comparison to adjuvant treatment,” reported Dr. Lespérance.

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