Folate linked to DHA (EFA in fish oil) status

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tansy, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Breaking News on Supplements & Nutrition – Europe

    Folate linked to DHA status

    - folate levels are directly related to levels of the omega-3
    fatty acid DHA, suggests new research, and may help explain why both
    nutrients tend to be low in people with hostility.

    Researchers from the National Institutes of Health in the US report that
    animal studies have already shown that dietary folate can increase
    tissue concentrations of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a fat thought to
    protect against heart disease and also depression and mental disorders.

    But no human studies have examined the possibility that folate status
    may affect plasma DHA concentrations.

    The team carried out a retrospective study on 15 normal and 22 hostile
    and aggressive subjects, with a mean age of 38 years.

    Concentrations of plasma polyunsaturated essential fatty acids and red
    blood cell folate were obtained prior to 1996, before American flour was
    enriched with folate.

    Folate was significantly correlated with plasma DHA in the aggressive
    group, they report in an advance online issue of the European Journal of
    Clinical Nutrition (doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602321).

    Age, smoking and alcohol consumption did not alter the results. No other
    essential fatty acids were significantly associated with RBC folate in
    either group.

    "The positive relationship between plasma DHA and RBC folate
    concentrations suggests that these two nutrients should be examined
    together in order to make the most accurate inferences about their
    relative contributions to disease pathogenesis," concluded the researchers.

    "Our findings present one explanation why some conditions associated
    with hostility and low DHA status, such as cardiovascular disease and
    emotional disorders, are also associated with low folate status," they
    added.[This Message was Edited on 12/01/2005]
  2. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Breaking News on Supplements & Nutrition – Europe

    Scientists have long suspected that a lack of omega-3 may contribute to depression, but the latest study suggests that an excess of omega-6 – the fatty acid which is more prevalent in the modern diets – may have more to do with it, reports Jess Halliday.

    Omega-3 has captured the attention of food formulators, media and health-conscious consumers thanks to a huge body of scientific evidence pointing to its benefits for heart health, joint health and cognitive function.
    Natural sources of omega-3 include oily fish, canola and flaxseed oils, soybeans and nuts. But while these foods were more commonly eaten 50 years ago, these days consumers' palates tend to favor foods that contain higher levels of omega-6, such as meat, eggs, poultry, cereals, breads, baked goods, vegetable oils, and margarine.

    Previous studies into fatty acids and depression have measuring omega-3 levels in the blood of depressed humans, giving rise to the ‘phospholipid hypothesis' which proposes that decreased omega-3 fatty acid intake, and hence decreased brain omega-3 fatty acid content, could be responsible for the disease.

    Because of the high dietary variability of humans and the obvious inability to study their brains, Dr Pnina Green of Tel Aviv University and Dr Gal Yadid of Bar-Ilan University chose to test the theory by comparing the brains of normal and depressed rats.

    Their findings, published in the June issue of the Journal of Lipid Research, took fatty-acid research surprising direction.

    The two groups of rats were fed the same diet, but their brains showed marked differences in levels of omega-6 fatty acid levels. All regions of the depressed rats' brains studied had significantly higher concentrations of arachidonic acid (ARA), a long-chain unsaturated metabolite of omega-6 fatty acid.

    "The finding that in the depressive rats the omega-3 fatty acid levels were not decreased, but ARA was substantially increased as compared to controls is somewhat unexpected," said Dr Green.

    "The finding lends itself nicely to the theory that increased omega-3 fatty acid intake may shift the balance between the two fatty acid families in the brain, since it has been demonstrated in animal studies that increased omega-3 fatty acid intake may result in decreased brain arachidonic acid.”

    But Green does not advocate cutting ARA out of the diet completely, since it is essential for the proper functioning of almost organ in the body, including the brain. It is a structural element in phospholipids, a substrate for a host of derivatives involved in second messenger function and is involved in signal transduction.

    Rather she suggests that, in the future, depression may be controlled by shifting the balance between the two fatty acids – cutting back on omega-6 and increasing intake of omega-3 to bring levels back in line with those of our forebears.

    Dietary supplements are a perennial favorite for consumers wishing to boost their omega-3 intake, and eggs produced by chickens fed an omega-3 rich diet have been available for some time. But formulators are getting ever more adventurous, with new fortified products arriving on supermarket shelves almost on a weekly basis.

    New entrants include bread products containing Ocean Nutrition Canada's Meg-3 ingredient from The Baker and Arnold Foods Company. Cereal companies are also tipped to be getting in on the act. In February Martek Biosciences signed a non-exclusive agreement with Kellogg to supply omega-3 for future fortified food products.

    According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, depression is the most common serious brain disease in the United States, affecting more than 23 million adults each year.
  3. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

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