Table of Contents
Cardiovascular Psychiatry and Neurology
Volume 2009, Article ID 725310, 6 pages

Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (n-3 PUFAs) in Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) and Depression: The Missing Link?

1Department of Psychiatry, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 40447, Taiwan
2Graduate Institute of Neural and Cognitive Sciences, China Medical University, Taichung 40447, Taiwan

Received 29 April 2009; Revised 29 June 2009; Accepted 15 July 2009

Academic Editor: Hari Manev

Copyright © 2009 Jane Pei-Chen Chang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Based on epidemiological data, clinical trials, and meta-analytic reviews, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) seem to be a biological link between depression and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Presentation. Involvement of n-3 PUFAs in depression and CVDs may be associated with a chronic, low-grade, inflammation. We hypothesize that n-3 PUFAs link depression and CVDs via “PUFA-prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) cascade.” Testing. To further support our hypothesis, case-control studies are needed to test the role of COX2 and PLA2 functions in depression and in CVDs. In addition, the effects of n-3 PUFAs on cardiovascular markers in depression and on depressive symptoms in CVDs should be investigated in clinical trials. Finally, the effects of manipulating COX2 and PLA2 functions on depression-like behaviors and cardiovascular functions could be explored in animal studies. Implications. n-3 PUFAs might be a promising treatment for both cardiovascular diseases and depression via its anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective effects.