Quebec, Ontario Researchers to do Study on Treating Depression with Omega-3

MONTREAL (CP) - Researchers from Quebec and Ontario will study the effects of omega-3 fatty acids in treating depression.

"Patients need new treatments for depression," said Dr. Francois Lesperance, head of the psychiatry department at the Centre hospitalier de l'Universite de Montreal. Omega-3 fatty acids could offer an alternative treatment for those suffering from depression, he told a news conference Wednesday.

Lesperance added that although antidepressants are available through prescription, they do have limitations and aren't always effective.

Some participants in the study will take fish oil supplements, while others will take a placebo with sunflower oil, which is low in omega-3.

The study will finish in the fall of 2007 and will receive funding from the European company Isodisnatura.

Researchers from Quebec's McGill University, Laval University and the University of Montreal as well as Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., will conduct the study.

Lesperance said one million Canadians suffer from depression.

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in such foods as flaxseed oil, canola oil and salmon, are thought to increase HDL, the so-called good cholesterol.

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