Long Chain omega-3 Fatty Acids Intake, Fish Consumption and Mental Disorders in the SUN Cohort Study

Eur J Nutr. 2007 Sep;46(6):337-46. doi: 10.1007/s00394-007-0671-x. Epub 2007 Aug 23.

Abstract

Background: Very long chain omega-3 fatty acids (w-3 PUFA) intake and fish consumption have been suggested as protective factors against neuropsychiatric disorders but there is scarcity of large cohort studies assessing this association.

Aim of the study: To assess the association between w-3-PUFA intake and fish consumption and mental disorders.

Methods: A prospective cohort study was performed in 7,903 participants. W-3 PUFA intake and fish consumption were ascertained through a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. The outcomes after 2 years of follow-up were: (1) Incident mental disorder (depression, anxiety, or stress), (2) incident depression, and (3) incident anxiety. Logistic regression models and generalized additive models were fit to assess the relationship between w-3 PUFA intake or fish consumption and the incidence of these outcomes. Odds ratios (OR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated.

Results: 173 cases of depression, 335 cases of anxiety, and 4 cases of stress were observed during 2-year follow-up. ORs (95% CI) of mental disorder for successive quintiles of energy-adjusted w-3 PUFA intake were 1 (reference), 0.72 (0.52-0.99), 0.79 (0.58-1.08), 0.65 (0.47-0.90), and 1.04 (0.78-1.40). Subjects with a moderate consumption of fish (third and fourth quintiles of consumption: median of each quintile 83.3 and 112 g/day, respectively) had a relative risk reduction higher than 30%.

Conclusions: A potential benefit of w-3 PUFA intake on total mental disorders is suggested, although no linear trend was apparent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diet therapy
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Seafood* / analysis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Substances

  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3