Depression is not simply normal sadness, being moody or just a low mood. It can causes both physical and psychological symptoms. Depression is common. Up to one in four females and one in six males will experience depression in their lifetime. Depressions are more frequent in populations living in industrialized countries. Numerous studies have demonstrated that deficiencies in serotonin, omega-3 fatty acids and methylation reactions are involved in the onset of these diseases.
The functional and nutritional biology tests are useful for the prevention and treatment of depression.
Test of Essential Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are the key molecules for optimal cell membrane fluidity. The fluidity of the bi-phospholipid layer is particularly important for brain activities since it represents a key parameter for the success of neurotransmission. Deficit in omega-3 fatty acid has been associated to increase incidence of depression.
Profil of Neurotransmitters: Neurotransmitters are molecules that are involved in the control of emotions. Among these molecules, it has been clearly established that a deficiency in serotonin is responsible for the majority of depressive status. The levels of brain serotonin result from balance between synthesis and degradation. Alteration in these processes can result in neurotransmitter deficiencies.
Homocystein: Methylation is a basic, fundamental chemical reaction that takes place at several levels of the metabolism, including neurotransmitter metabolism. Deficit in methylation leads to hyperhomocysteinemia, a situation associated with increased risk of depression and cognitive function alteration. Therefore testing for homocysteine is important step in finding out the methylation status.
The analysis will tell if the patient suffers from deficiencies or excess of molecules that have been demonstrated to play a role in the development of depression.
Omega-3 fatty acids in major depression. Locke CA, Stoll AL. World rev Nutr Diet. 2001; 89:173-85
Omega-3 fatty acids, homocysteine and the increased risk of cardiovascular mortality in major depressive disorders. Severus WE, Littman AB, Stoll AL. Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2001; 9:280-93
Homocysteine and neurologic disease. Diaz-Arrastia R. Arch Neurol. 2000;57:1422-7
Serotonergic dysregulation in bipolar disorders: a literature review of serotonergic challenge studies. Sobczak S, Honig A, Van Duinen MA, Riedel WJ. Lipolar Disord. 2002; 4:347-56