Salivary cortisol concentrations in children suffering from depression treated with omega-3 fatty acids
H. Oravcová*a (Ms), J. Trebatickáb (Dr), B. Katrenčíkovác (Dr), Z. Duračkovác (Prof), D. Ježováa (Prof)
a Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, Biomedical Research Center, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, SLOVAKIA ; b Department of Paediatric Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and The National Institute of Children's Diseases, Comenius University, Bratislava, SLOVAKIA ; c Institute of Medical Chemistry, Biochemistry and Clinical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, Bratislava, SLOVAKIA
Introduction: Mood disorders are highly prevalent among children and adolescents and they represent a serious problem for health care and society. The stress hormone cortisol is thought to be involved in the pathophysiology of depressive disorders. The supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids can be helpful in the prevention and treatment of these disorders as shown by previous studies. The present study aims to evaluate the consequences of supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids on cortisol concentrations in saliva obtained in a cohort of depressive children described previously (1). Material and methods: A total of 80 boys and girls between the age of 7-18 years (patients and healthy controls) participated in this prospective study. The study group involves 60 patients suffering from either mixed anxiety and depressive disorder (MADD) or depressive disorder (DD). The patients were treated with either omega-3 fatty acids or omega-6 fatty acids as an active comparator in addition to their standard antidepressant therapy daily for 12 weeks. The samples of saliva were collected in the morning and the midday before the treatment and following six weeks as well as twelve weeks of the intervention. Cortisol concentrations were measured using commercial ELISA. Results: At the baseline, there were no differences in cortisol concentrations between patients and healthy children. Morning cortisol concentrations decreased in response to omega-3 fatty acids supplementation at the time 12 weeks of the intervention. Following the stratification according to the diagnosis, the decrease in morning salivary cortisol concentrations was evident in patients with DD and was not observed in patients with MADD. Discussion: The reduction of salivary cortisol induced by long-term treatment with omega-3 fatty acids supplementation, which was particularly strong in children with DD, may have a positive influence on their mood. The study was supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency (grant number APVV-18-0283).
- Trebaticka, J.; Hradečná, Z.; Surovcová, A; Katrenčíková, B; Gushina, I.; Waczulíková, I.; Sušienková,K.; Garaiová,I.; Šuba,J.; Ďuračková, Z.; Psychiatry Research., 287, 112911. 2020
The author has declared no conflict of interest.