The Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Depression in Female Students

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition and Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran.

2 M.Sc. of Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran.


Introduction: Depression is one of the most prevalent psychiatric problems that its incidence is higher in students who are in stressful environments. Due to the side effects of antidepressant drugs and uncertain effects of Omega-3 fatty acids on depression, this study was evaluated the effects of omega-3 fatty acid on depression in female students.
Methods: This single-blind clinical trial was conducted on 50 female students who were resident at dormitory of Sabzevar university of medical sciences in 2014. Female students with depression were randomly divided into two groups. The first group received 2 grams of omega-3 supplementation in divided doses of two capsules morning and night for two months. Similarly, the second group received placebo. Before and after giving medications, depression symptoms were assessed by Beck- questionnaires in both groups. Data were analyzed using SPSS software version 16, t-test, chi-square and ANOVA tests. P value less than 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: The severity of depression had reduced in case group 8 weeks after taking omega-3 and the difference was statistically significant (p=0.001), but the severity of depression did not change after the intervention in control group (p>0.05). The severity of depression in both omega-3 and placebo groups showed significant differences after the intervention (p=0.001).
Conclusion: Omega-3 fatty acid appears to be effective in reducing depression in female students.


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