Patients with depression have been extensively reported to be associated with the abnormality of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), including significantly low eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid in cell tissue contents (red blood cell membrane, plasma, etc.) and dietary intake. However, more evidence is needed to support its relation.

In this study, we conducted an 8-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, comparing omega-3 PUFAs (6.6 g/day) [corrected] with placebo, on the top of the usual treatment, in 28 patients with major depressive disorder. Patients in the omega-3 PUFA group had a significantly decreased score on the 21-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression than those in the placebo group (P < 0.001).

From the preliminary findings in this study, omega-3 PUFAs could improve the short-term course of illness and were well tolerated in patients with major depressive disorder.