~ Beneficial Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Childhood Depression
In a randomized, placebo-controlled, pilot study involving 20 children between the ages of 6 and 12 with childhood depression, results suggest that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids may have therapeutic benefits.
The children were randomized to receive daily omega-3 supplementation (a combination of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, available over-the-counter) or placebo for 1 month.
At baseline, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 16 weeks, the children were examined using the Children抯 Depression Rating Scale, Children抯 Depression Inventory, and Clinical Global Impression.
At intervention end, 7 of the 10 children who received omega-3 supplementation showed at least a 50% reduction in depression scores, compared to baseline. No improvements in scores were observed in the placebo supplemented children. Additionally, 4 of the omega-3 supplemented children achieved remission.
Thus, this study suggests that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids may benefit children suffering from depression.
Reference: Omega-3 treatment of childhood depression: a controlled, double-blind pilot study, Nemets H, Nemets B, et al, Am J Psychiatry, 2006; 163(6): 1098-100. (Address: Beer-Sheva Mental Health Center, PO Box 4600, Beer-Sheva, Israel. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ).
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