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A Deficiency of Dietary Omega-3 Explains Depressive Behavior

Researchers studied mice fed on a diet low in omega-3 fats, and discovered that reduced levels of omega-3 had deleterious consequences on synaptic functions and emotional behaviors. In industrialized nations, diets have been low in essential fatty acids throughout the 20th century, and in particular the dietary ratio between omega-3 fats and omega-6 fats has decreased continuously.

When scientists fed mice a life-long diet imbalanced in omega-3 and omega-6 fats, they found that omega-3 deficiency disturbed neuronal communication. The neuronal dysfunction was accompanied by depressive behavior.

Eurekalert reports:

"In conclusion, the authors estimate that their results provide the first biological components of an explanation for the observed correlation between omega-3 poor diets, which are very widespread in the industrialized world, and mood disorders such as depression."

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