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Thursday, August 06, 2015

Neuro - bioactivities of Omega-3 (Year 2, 2013)

Assalamualaikum, Ni hao, konnichiwa,

Genki desu ka? Ni hao ma xiao peng you? hehehe xiao means small. The new Mandarin word that I learn yesterday. Alhamdulillah currently I have got new spirit and strength to start more writing and make new videos to be uploaded in my youtube account. yo!!

So, whats the relation with the title above? Here is my assignment when I'm in Year 2 (May 2013) in the subject of Nutraceuticals and Cosmeceutical. I don't remember how did I perform in this subject but I do like this subject. ^.^ This is the elective course which we learn about SPF thing, make-up tools, and many other anti-oxidants etc. I'm an average student which try my best to perform. :')
Figure 1, 2, 3 as above ALA, EPA, and DHA.

Here we go.

 Evidence is accumulating about omega-3 PUFA has an important role in mental function. Since mental disorders is usually associated with deficiency or lack of nutrients and minerals present in the blood, mechanism which relevant to the effect should be studied thoroughly. Therefore, a review has been done in order to investigate the accuracy of the fact. This article reviews evidence that associated with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, its association with the neuro-bioactivities, and the possible mechanisms of action that may be particular relevance to the mental health functions. 

Every year on 10th October, we will celebrate World Mental Health Day. This year’s theme is “Mental health and older adults”.  The aim of the celebration is to give awareness about mental health issues. According to WHO (2011), it is estimated that approximately 450 millions of people is having mental disorder around the world. The number of people is a bit worrying because the statistic of people suffered from mental problem keep increasing which at the same time decrease the productiveness of the workers. Based on Halliwell et. al.  (2007) in the Fundamental of Facts book, the disease most likely to affect women, older people, prisoners, and small percentage of children. Therefore, it is important to know how to manage the mental problem wisely as the disease has low percentage of full recovery (Halliwell et.al, 2007). So, nutraceutical which can give positive improvement and management of the mental is highly recommended and are searched nowadays. 
The purpose for the article review is to investigate and assess the effect of omega-3 on the mental health by using the articles and other research journals. It will be focusing more on prevention of mental disorder using omega-3 rather than treatment of mental problem.
 Good mental health is a fundamental aspect for people to have a normal life, able to carry out various activities and cope with any changes of surrounding. On the other hand, cognitive impairment can cause reduce quality of work, and poor quality of life. Mental disorder can be divided into many types. However, Grohol (2012) has divide into three main categories which  is adult, childhood, and personality disorders.
Mental health has a very wide scope and therefore it is important to define and narrowing the scope of the study. Mental health is defined by WHO (2011) as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” This means that the person must be in a very good physiologic mental functions in order to do something effectively and having the ability to cope with the barrier and challenges coming. Meanwhile, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV), has defined mental disorder as having these characteristics;   
“clinically significant behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern that occurs in an individual, is associated with present distress or disability (i.e., impairment in one or more important areas of functioning) or with a significantly increased risk of suffering death, pain, disability, or an important loss of freedom, must not be merely an expectable and culturally sanctioned response to a particular event, for example, the death of a loved one, a manifestation of a behavioral, psychological, or biological dysfunction in the individual, neither deviant behavior (e.g., political, religious, or sexual) nor conflicts that are primarily between the individual and society are mental disorders unless the deviance or conflict is a symptom of a dysfunction in the individual”.

 Although the exact causes of mental disease is unknown, generally, mental health problem is predicted due to combination of biological (genetics, infections, injury, substance abuse), psychological, and environment factors (Katz, 2012). Therefore, usually most of the ways to treat the problem is by pharmacotherapy (for example anti-psychotic drug), support therapy, and psychotherapy (Fleury et. al, 2012). However, it is better to manage and prevent the disease from occurring. One of the way to prevent or manage our health is by consumption of enough nutrients and minerals either by taking supplementation or from balanced diet. 

Polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) is derived from three ways; arachidonic acid (AA), docosahexaenoic acid (omega-3), and docosatetranoic acid (omega-6). Then, omega-3 fatty acid are groups into three different types based on chemical structure whereby all the structure is having double bond at position number three from the methyl group, which consists of alpha-linolenic acid (figure 1), docosahexaenoic acid (figure 2), and eicosapentaenoic acid (figure 3).
 Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid. Essential means the compound is not being  synthesized by the body. It is derived from animals sources and can only be obtained from diet or supplementation. The original source of omega-3 PUFA is originally from marine microorganisms, krill, or algae (Peet & Stokes, 2005), which is in the ocean food chain. Then, fish that eat the marine microorganism will also rich in omega-3 which are oily fish - herring, mackerel, salmon, albacore (“white”) tuna, and sardines (Lavie et. al, 2009), green leafy vegetables, soybean, flaxseed, canola oil, and walnut (Covington, 2004), beef, halibut, scallops, shrimps, and tofu. However, when comparing either to take omega-3 rich food or supplement, based on study done by Elvevoll et. al (2006), eating oily fish is better and well-absorbed into the body system rather than taking omega-3 supplement. Therefore, eating the natural food containing omega-3 rich fatty acid is highly recommended and encouraged.

Generally, brain consists of glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids, gangliosides, and cholesterols. From all the elements in the brain, glycerophospholipids contains the highest proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA). Therefore, both DHA and EPA are needed simultaneously but must be in a correct ratio in order to have good mental function since change in the DHA:EPA ratio will cause disturbance in the physiologic condition. Normally, DHA is needed in lower concentration than EPA. 
There are various pharmacodynamics of the omega-3 that happen inside the body. Omega-3 acts by increasing HDL cholesterol, decreasing total cholesterol and triglyceride (Yurko-Mauro, 2010; Ehrlich, 2011), and decreasing resting heart rate (Yurko-Mauro, 2010). Next, omega-3 PUFA will cause elevation of the levels of dopamine and increase binding to D2 receptor. There also will be decreased in pro-inflammatory cytokine levels, and elevated the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in brain (Sinclair et. al., 2007).
DHA important for structural component of phospholipid in neuronal cell membrane, neural and cardiac function (Yurko-Mauro, 2010), membrane receptor function, neurotransmission involving dopamine and serotonin regulation, glucose regulation which affects glucose transporter in the brain (Sinclair et. al., 2007), and precursor for docosatrienes and 17S resolvins.. Reduced DHA in the body may cause aggression, depression, change in neuron size, change in auditory and olfactory responses to stimuli, and change in nerve growth factor levels (Sinclair et. al., 2007). 
EPA is a precursor for eicosanoids and modulator of cytokines that have neurotransmitter and neuromodulatory activity. 18R resolvin is from EPA. EPA was known to compete with amino acid for enzymatic action and causing reduction of the inflammatory response.
With the increase activity of research nowadays, researchers are now highly concern to study and focus more on the potential benefit of ω-3 for the brain function (Ehrlich, 2011; Parker et. al., 2006; Peet & Stokes, 2005; Yurko-Mauro, 2010) such as for depression, dementia, Alzheimer, schizophrenia, cognitive impairment (brain memory and performance), and behavioural function. The main types of mental problem that usually associated with omega-3 depletion are depression and schizophrenia.
Bioactivities of omega-3 is believed to have effects on secondary messengers and on protein kinase, effects on eicosanoid as the inflammatory agent, and lastly, effects on neurotransmitter receptors and G-proteins through biophysical properties of the membrane (Sinclair et. al.,2007). Studies also have shown that omega-3 is highly concentrated in the brain (Ehrlich, 2011) for the normal healthy person and there is association between the level of omega-3 and mental health problem. The lower the level of omega-3, the higher chances of having mental disorder. Therefore, it clearly shows the importance of omega-3 in maintaining the normal mental function.
Most significant neurological problem is due to damage and aging. Therefore omega-3 should be taken at a correct amount to maintain healthy normal neurophysiology (Mazza et. al.,2007). For instances, Alzheimer patient which has very low DHA level in the brain need to increase the intake of food rich in DHA, so that the chances of getting Alzheimer will be decreased (Yurko-Mauro, 2010). Another example is schizophrenic patient which have low ability for conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA from foods (Ehrlich, 2011). Therefore, the schizophrenic patient is highly recommended to maintain consumption of EPA and DHA rich food in order to prevent mental disorder due to omega-3 deficiency.
On the other hand, there are another important part in the central nervous system which is crucial for maintenance of the brain function which are associated with omega-3 utilization. Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), amygdala, and hippocampus which are located in the regional gray matter are the most important part for improving and maintaining normal regulation of mood and memory (Conklin et. al., 2007). Therefore it is necessary to obtain enough omega-3 as the  volume of gray matter is directly associated with omega-3 consumption. The higher the omega-3 consumption, the higher the volume of gray matter (until up to certain limit).
Besides having benefit related to mental health, omega-3 also believed to have good effect on reducing risk of cardiovascular disease (Din et. al, 2004; Lavie et. al, 2009; Ruxton et. al, 2004), has anti-inflammatory properties (source), anti-atherosclerotic effect (Seikikawa et. al, 2007; Seikikawa, 2008), anti-arrhythmic effect (O’Keefe et. al, 2006; Anand et. al, 2008), prevent cardiovascular mortality (Yamagishi et. al, 2008), anti-platelet effect (Covington, 2004; Din et. al, 2008), relieving joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, bowel disease, and dysmenorrhea (Goldberg & Katz, 2006) although some study done by Hooper et. al (2006) shows that omega-3 have no clear evidence on reduction of mortality, cardiovascular events, and cancer.

Even though there are some studies which show that omega-3 do not have effects on mental health, but majority of other studies shown that omega-3 do have effects. The studies that shown no effects of omega-3 on mental health is due to short duration of time of studies or small number of subjects used. Therefore, based on the review above, omega-3 are proven and therefore can be used to prevent or delay development of mental disorders. However, it cannot be used for the treatment of the mental disorder. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the amount of omega-3 in the body is sufficient and at the right concentration so that people be in the optimum healthy mental state.

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That's all. Jaane~ Zai jian~

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