[Paleopsych] Lipids, depression and suicide

Christian Rauh christian.rauh at uconn.edu
Wed Apr 20 17:28:09 UTC 2005

Could it be that a less predictable future have more to do than the 
belief in God? Maybe things are changing too fast for us to cope.


Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D. wrote:
> Diet: This is a good point, and one I have considered. However, the 
> history of a rise in depression pre-dates the low fat fad.  In the 1960s 
> the trend was already appearing, with people of my generation being at 
> higher risk of depression than my own grandparents. Therefore, Seligman 
> argues more in favor of changing values. I think you are correct that 
> diet may also play a role, but it is not the whole picture.
> I put in the Horatius at the gate segments because the notion is that if 
> nothing is worth dying for, then nothing is worth living for. One's 
> willingness to give one's life in service of a higher value is a source 
> of great strength and happiness. This appears to be an empirical 
> finding, and illustrates the role of values and social norms in reducing 
> depression.
> "and how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of 
> his fathers and the temples of his gods . . ."  The man / woman who 
> deeply believes this has something great to live for, knows his/her 
> position in life, and feels a deep connection with forebearers / 
> posterity ('child upon her breast').  This seems to immunize against 
> depression.
> Lynn
> Steve Hovland wrote:
>> Lipids, depression and suicide
>> by
>> Colin A, Reggers J, Castronovo V, Ansseau M.
>> Assistante Clinique, Universite de Liege,
>> CUP La Clairiere, Bertrix.
>> Encephale 2003 Feb;29(Pt 1):49-58
>> Polyunsatured fatty acids are made out of a hydrocarbonated chain of 
>> variable length with several double bonds. The position of the first 
>> double bond (w; omega) differentiates polyunsatured w3 fatty acids 
>> (for example: alpha-linolenic acid or a-LNA) and polyunsatured w6 
>> fatty acids (for example: linoleic acid or LA). These two classes of 
>> fatty acids are said to be essential because they cannot be 
>> synthetised by the organism and have to be taken from alimentation. 
>> The w3 are present in linseed oil, nuts, soya beans, wheat and cold 
>> water fish whereas w6 are present in maize, sunflower and sesame oil. 
>> Fatty acids are part of phospholipids and, consequently, of all 
>> biological membranes. The membrane fluidity, of crucial importance for 
>> its functionning, depends on its lipidic components. Phospholipids 
>> composed of chains of polyunsatured fatty acids
>> The rest of the story:  http://www.biopsychiatry.com/lipidsmood.htm
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