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Table 4 Double blind placebo-controlled trials of omega-3 fatty acids upon in mood disorders.

From: Omega-3 fatty acids as treatments for mental illness: which disorder and which fatty acid?

Ref Jadad score Disorder Meds Age Gen Omega-3 fatty acid Prep type Duration N Outcome measure Average baseline score Δ Statistical significant difference
66 5 MDD 100% 50 81% 1 g/day EPA Ethyl ester 12 weeks 34 HDRS 20 -3.8 Yes
       2 g/day EPA Ethyl ester 12 weeks 35 HDRS 20 +0.3 No
       4 g/day EPA Ethyl ester 12 weeks 34 HDRS 19 -0.3 No
68 3 MDD 100% 53 85% 2 g/day EPA Ethyl ester 4 weeks 20 HDRS 22 -10.8 Yes
69 4 MDD 100% 38 80% 2.2 g/day EPA
1.1 g/day DHA
Crude mixture 8 weeks 22 HDRS 22 -7.2 Yes
71 4 CD 0% 10 25% 0.4 g/day EPA1
0.2 g/day DHA
Crude mixture 16 weeks 20 CDRS 69 -25 Yes
74 2 MDD 0% 47 80% 2 g/day DHA Crude mixture 6 weeks 35 HDRS 26 -2.3 No
75 3 MDD 79% 39 79% 0.6 g/day EPA
2.4 g/day DHA
Crude mixture 12 weeks 77 HDRS 12 +0.6 No
77 3 BD 100% 43 66% 6.2 g/day EPA
3.4 g/day DHA
Crude mixture 4 months 30 YMRS 7 +1.3 No
           HDRS 11 -7.7 Yes
80 5 BD 100% 47 76% 1 g/day EPA Ethyl ester 12 weeks 50 YMRS 6 -3.62 No
           HDRS 15 -3.6 No
       2 g/day EPA Ethyl ester 12 weeks 51 YMRS 5 -12 No
           HDRS 15 -3 No
       1 and 2 g/day groups combined Ethyl ester 12 weeks 51 YMRS 6 -2.32 No
           HDRS 15 -3.3 Yes
81 5 BD 100% 45 85% 6 g/day EPA Ethyl ester 16 weeks 116 IDS NS -0.4 No
           YMRS NS +0.6 No
86 5 PPD 0% 31 100% 0.2 g/day DHA Crude mixture 4 months 89 BDI 7 +0.4 No
  1. MDD, CD, PPD and BD are major depressive disorder, childhood depression, post partum depression and bipolar disorder respectively. Δ refers to the difference between the change from baseline values for placebo and treatment groups (change from baseline symptom scores for the omega-3 fatty acid group minus change from baseline scores for the placebo group). Since for all scales zero is better, a negative value indicates a better than placebo response. Trial quality was assessed using Jadad design quality scores which can range from 0 to 5 with 5 being best. Outcome measures are HDRS: Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, YMRS: Young Mania Rating Scale, CDRS – Children's Depression Rating Scale, IDS – Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology. The average baseline score is the average of the omega-3 and placebo group scores at the start of the trial. Age refers to the mean age in years of the active and placebo groups. Gen (gender) refers to the % of female participants in the trial. Notes: 1 Some children received a different capsule size resulting in a dose of 0.38 g EPA/day and 0.18 g DHA/day, 2 Although the omega-3 fatty acid group performed better than placebo on the YMRS it should be noted that the mania symptoms worsened in both omega-3 PUFA and placebo groups during the trial.