Fish oil capsules. (Photo: Stock File)
Antidepressant developed with fish oil
Wednesday, August 08, 2012, 07:00 (GMT + 9)
A team of scientists of the Institute for Research in Human Health Sciences of the National University of La Rioja (UNLaR) and researchers from the National University of Cordoba (UNC) developed a compound based on fish oil and fluoxetine to treat patients with depression.
To some people antidepressants cause negative side effects, such as sexual dysfunction, anorexia, beating, arrhythmia and insomnia, among others.
According to the researchers who participated in this project, if fluoxetine is combined with omega-3 fatty acids, its antidepressant effect is enhanced, which contributes to the use of a very low dose. In this way, the adverse effects of the drug can be reduced, reported Tiempo Pyme.
If the drug efficacy is confirmed in future clinical studies, it will be possible to be used to treat children and pregnant women.
"There is a theory that states that one of the causes of increased depression worldwide is that the consumption of omega-3 fell because other types of fat were added," Carlos Laino points out, a researcher at CONICET and UNLaR.
According to the experts, a person is in a good mood when omega-3 and 6 acids (present in beef and in pork) are at the same level in the body. But if there is an imbalance, brain pathologies such as depression may take place.
At present, the scientists tested the effectiveness of the drug in rats.
The experiment conducted by the research team was quite simple: they put the rodents in a cylinder with water at 25 °C for 15 minutes.
"The rat feels locked in, swims and tries to escape, but on realizing that it can not do so, it stays still, which produces stress followed by depression to the animal," Laino explained.
Rats were then inoculated with the antidepressant for 16 days and their behavior in water was monitored again.
"We noted that if the rat has been treated with antidepressants, it swims from 50 per cent to 70 per cent more. This means that the animal tries to find the exit without giving up, which shows that the antidepressant works," argued the scientist.
By Analia Murias