Food and Behaviour Research

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Eicosapentaenoic acid appears to be the key omega-3 fatty acid component associated with efficacy in major depressive disorder: a critique of Bloch and Hannestad and updated meta-analysis.

Martins JG, Bentsen H, Puri BK (2012) Mol Psychiatry. 2012 Apr 10. doi: 10.1038/mp.2012.25.   

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Abstract:

A recent meta-analysis by Bloch and Hannestad (B&H)1 examining the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids (ω3-FA) in major depressive disorder (MDD) claims no significant overall benefit compared with placebo; standard mean difference (SMD) 0.11 (95% CI, –0.04, 0.26) with no specific influence of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) dose on meta-regression analysis.

These findings contrast with those from other recent meta-analyses. As potential reasons for this disparity, we question the validity of their results on the basis of inclusion/exclusion criteria, study subgroup selection, strategy for selecting outcome measures, SMD estimates and choice of effect modifiers.