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Medicina is published by MDPI from Volume 54 Issue 1 (2018). Articles in this Issue were published by another publisher in Open Access under a CC-BY (or CC-BY-NC-ND) licence. Articles are hosted by MDPI on mdpi.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Lithuanian Medical Association, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, and Vilnius University.
Open AccessReview

The importance of n-6/n-3 fatty acids ratio in the major depressive disorder

1
Department of Biomedicine, Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
2
Translational Neuropsychiatry Unit, Department of Clinical Medicine, Health, Aarhus University, Risskov, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicina 2016, 52(3), 139-147; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.medici.2016.05.003
Received: 10 February 2016 / Revised: 16 April 2016 / Accepted: 19 May 2016 / Published: 30 May 2016
This review aims to clarify the relation between the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids and the development of depression. It is explained how these fatty acids are involved in the production of eicosanoids and how these fatty acids can affect the membrane fluidity, by their incorporation into membrane phospholipids. In addition, it is described how omega-3 derivatives are shown to regulate gene transcription. In view of the pathophysiology of depression, the mechanisms of how an altered ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 could be involved in depression are discussed. Possible mechanisms could include an increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which can activate the HPA axis and a changed membrane fluidity, which potentially affects membrane bound enzymes, ion channels, receptor activity and neurotransmitter binding. In view of clinical trials, it is also discussed whether omega-3 supplementation could have a beneficial effect in the treatment of depressive patient. There are strong indications that an increased ratio of membrane omega-6 to omega-3 is involved in the pathogenesis of depression and so far, omega-3 supplementation has shown positive effects in clinical trials.
Keywords: Polyunsaturated fatty acids ratio; Depression; Arachidonic acid; Eicosapentaenoic acid Polyunsaturated fatty acids ratio; Depression; Arachidonic acid; Eicosapentaenoic acid
MDPI and ACS Style

Husted, K.S.; Bouzinova, E.V. The importance of n-6/n-3 fatty acids ratio in the major depressive disorder. Medicina 2016, 52, 139-147.

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