Serum IL-6 levels and oxidation rate of LDL cholesterol were related to depressive symptoms independent of omega-3 fatty acids among female hospital and nursing home workers in Japan
Tsuboi H, Sakakibara H, Tatsumi A, Yamakawa-Kobayashi K, Matsunaga M, Kaneko H, Shimoi K.
Chronic low-grade inflammation and oxidative stress are commonly observed in persons with depression or depressive symptoms. We explored the degree of depressive symptoms under psychological stress in relation to serum LDL oxidation, inflammatory markers, and fatty acid (FA) distribution among female population. The purpose of this study was to identify peripheral factors that are related to depressive symptoms, and to assess how each factor is related to depressive symptoms.
133 female workers in a hospital and nursing homes were recruited in Japan. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Japanese version of the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), and perceived stress was assessed using the visual analogue scale. Cytokine levels and oxidation rate of LDL cholesterol (ox-LDL/LDL) were measured as indices of inflammation and oxidation. Omega-3 FA distribution was also measured. Path analysis and hierarchical regression analysis were used to determine if each factor was predictive of depressive symptoms.
It was identified that serum ox-LDL/LDL was positively connected with depressive symptoms, but was more strongly related to perceived psychological stress. Elevated serum IL-6 was positively correlated with depressive symptoms, though the effect was partly transmitted via ox-LDL/LDL. Additionally, serum ω3 PUFAs were inversely associated with depressive symptoms independently of IL-6 or ox-LDL/LDL.
Although this study is unlikely to fully explain the causes of depressive symptoms, it suggests that psychological stress and somatic factors such as inflammation, oxidation and nutrition are related to depressive symptoms. These findings suggest the therapeutic potential of lifestyle targets to alleviate the identified depression risk factors, anti-oxidative therapies, anti-inflammatory therapies and nutritional interventions to prevent depression.