From the article:
The study, conducted in OSU’s Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, focused on a group of 43 middle-aged to elderly men and women, nearly half of which were the caregiver spouses of people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. By including caregivers who typically report greater stress and more depression than similar ad ults who are not caregiving, the researchers could look at how depression and diet might interact to affect inflammation.
The analysis showed that participants who had much more omega-6 – compared to omega-3 – fatty acids, and who also were reporting more symptoms of depression, had much higher levels of IL-6 and TNF-alpha, two cytokines which enhance inflammation.
“The data suggest that higher depression and a poorer diet in terms of omega-3 can work together to promote inflammation. Other researchers have shown that clinically depressed people – those with more severe depression – often have lower omega-3 levels in their blood, and several studies have shown that supplementing diets with omega-3 improves depression,” Kiecolt-Glaser said, although the reason isn’t clear.
“This study has shown that even in people who did not take supplements, maybe just a little bit more omega-3, could help reduce their markers for both stress and depression,” Belury said.