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英語:“People who eat seafood half as likely to become depressed”

People who eat a lot of fish and other seafood are half as likely to develop depression, an epidemiological study conducted by a National Cancer Center Japan and Keio University has found.

The high levels of omega-3 fatty acids contained in blue-backed fish varieties are thought to act in preventing the disease. The research team’s results were published in the online American medical journal “Translational Psychiatry” on Sept. 27.

The research team traced the lifestyles of 1,181 residents of the Minamisaku district of Nagano Prefecture, who were aged between 40 and 59 in 1990, for 25 years beginning in that year. The team looked at the subjects’ consumption of 19 different types of fish and other seafood and if there was a connection with the onset of depression.

The participants were divided into four groups depending on their daily consumption, and when compared to the group with the lowest median intake of 57 grams, the group that ate the second-most amount of fish and other seafood at a median of 111 grams was 56 percent less likely to develop depression. The group that ate the most seafood was only 26 percent less likely, but the team believes this was due to influence from other factors, such as how the fish was prepared and different foods eaten by those participants.

Additionally, when the subjects’ consumption of fatty acids was calculated, there was a trend for the risk to be lower if the person also had high levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), which are categorized as types of omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to aid in synthesizing substances related to the transmission of information in the brain, as well as increase the amount of substances that act as nourishment for the nervous system. National Cancer Center Japan Division of Health Care Research chief Yutaka Matsuoka said, “I hope the results will change how people look at the benefits of a fish diet.”

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日本語:“魚たくさん食べる人、うつ病リスク半減”

 魚介を多く食べる人は、そうでない人と比べてうつ病の発症率が半減するとの疫学調査結果を、国立がん研究センターと慶応大のチームがまとめた。青魚に多く含まれる「オメガ3脂肪酸」による予防効果が考えられるという。米国の精神医学専門誌「トランスレーショナル・サイカイアトリー」に27日、論文が掲載される。

 研究チームは1990年に40~59歳だった長野県南佐久郡の住民1181人を25年間追跡調査し、19種の魚介の摂取量とうつ病との関係を調べた。1日当たり摂取量の多い順に4グループに分けると、2番目(中央値111グラム)の集団は最下位(同57グラム)の集団より発症率が56%低かった。最も多く摂取した集団の発症率は26%の低減にとどまるが、他の食材や調理法の影響を受けたとみられるという。

 また、脂肪酸の摂取量を計算すると、オメガ3脂肪酸に分類されるエイコサペンタエン酸(EPA)とドコサペンタエン酸(DPA)が多いと発症率が低くなる傾向があった。

 オメガ3脂肪酸には脳内で情報伝達に関わる物質の合成や、神経の栄養になる物質を増やす作用があるとされる。うつ病の予防効果は海外で報告されており、日本人を対象にした疫学調査で確かめられたのは初めてという。がん研究センターの松岡豊・健康支援研究部長(栄養精神医学)は「魚介を食べる人は肉に比べて近年減ってきている。研究結果が魚食のよさを見直すきっかけになれば」と話す。

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