APS: Fish Intake Linked to Grey Matter Volume

People with highest intake of omega-3 fatty acids have greater volume in region linked to mood

MONDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) -- A high dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids from fish or fish-oil supplements is associated with increased grey matter volume in the perigenual anterior cingulate cortex, the brain region that controls mood and behavior, according to research presented this week at the 65th Annual Scientific Conference of the American Psychosomatic Society in Budapest, Hungary.

Sarah M. Conklin, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues surveyed 55 healthy adult subjects about their dietary habits and used high-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging to measure their grey matter volume.

The researchers found that subjects in the highest tertile of omega-3 fatty acid consumption had a higher grey matter volume in the perigenual region of the anterior cingulate cortex than those in the lowest tertiles. After controlling for factors such as age, sex, race, total grey matter volume, smoking status, alcohol use and IQ, they also found that a higher grey matter volume in the perigenual region was associated with lower Beck Depression Inventory symptom severity scores.

"As low grey matter volume in these brain regions have been associated with clinical depression, the current data suggest that the anterior cingulate cortex may play a role in the antidepressant effects mediated by dietary intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids," the authors conclude.

Abstract #1669 (P. 28)

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