Exploring the association between whole blood Omega-3 Index, DHA, EPA, DHA, AA and n-6 DPA, and depression and self-esteem in adolescents of lower general secondary education
van der Wurff, I. S. M.; von Schacky, C.; Bergeland, T.; Leontjevas, R.; Zeegers, M. P.; Kirschner, P. A.; de Groot, R. H. M. (2018-03-16)
van der Wurff, I.S.M., von Schacky, C., Bergeland, T. et al. Eur J Nutr (2019) 58: 1429. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-018-1667-4
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Purpose: Depression is common in adolescents and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) are suggested to be associated with depression. However, research in adolescents is limited. Furthermore, self-esteem has never been studied in relation to LCPUFA. The objective here was to determine associations of depression and self-esteem with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), Omega-3 Index (O3I), n-6 docosapentaenoic acid (n-6 DPA, also called Osbond acid, ObA), n-3 docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), and arachidonic acid (AA) concentrations in blood of adolescents attending lower general secondary education (LGSE).
Methods: Baseline cross-sectional data from a krill oil supplementation trial in adolescents attending LGSE with an O3I ≤ 5% were analysed using regression models built with the BayesFactor package in R. Fatty acids and O3I were determined in blood. Participants filled out the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) scale and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale (RSE).
Results: Scores indicative of depression (CES-D ≥ 16) were found in 29.4% of the respondents. Of all fatty acids, we found extreme evidence [Bayes factor (BF) > 100] for a weak negative association between ObA and depression score [− 0.16; 95% credible interval (CI) −0.28 to −0.04; BF₁₀ = 245], and substantial evidence for a weak positive association between ObA and self-esteem score (0.09; 95% CI, −0.03 to 0.20; BF₁₀ = 4). When all fatty acids were put in one model as predictors of CES-D or RSE, all of the 95% CI contained 0, i.e., no significant association.
Conclusion: No evidence was found for associations of DHA, EPA and O3I with depression or self-esteem scores in LGSE adolescents with O3I ≤ 5%. The associations of higher ObA status with lower depression and higher self-esteem scores warrant more research.
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