Abstract

Ratio of Omega-6/Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Associated With Somatic and Depressive Symptoms in People With Painful Temporomandibular Disorder and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

 Pain. 2022 Apr 25;S1526-5900(22)00304-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2022.04.006.Online ahead of print.

 

Anne E Sanders 1E Diane Weatherspoon 2Brandie M Ehrmann 2Paul S Soma 2Saame R Shaikh 3John S Preisser 4Richard Ohrbach 5Roger B Fillingim 6Gary D Slade 7

 
     

Author information

1Division of Pediatric and Public Health, Adams School of Dentistry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Electronic address: anne_sanders@unc.edu.

2Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

3Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health and School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

4Department of Biostatistics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

5Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York.

6Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida; Pain Research and Intervention Center of Excellence, Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science, College of Dentistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

7Division of Pediatric and Public Health, Adams School of Dentistry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Abstract

Somatic symptom disturbance is among the strongest predictors of painful temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Related psychological constructs, such as anxiety and depression, respond therapeutically to omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in clinical trials. This cross-sectional study investigated associations between the omega-6/omega-3 PUFA ratio and somatic symptom disturbance and depressive symptoms in a community-based sample of 501 adults and determined whether these associations differed between adults with and without TMD or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry quantified PUFAs in circulating erythrocytes. Somatic symptoms and depression were quantified using Symptom Checklist-90-Revised subscales. Presence or absence of TMD and IBS, respectively, were determined by clinical examination and Rome III screening questions. The standardized beta coefficient for the omega-6/omega-3 long-chain PUFA ratio was 0.26 (95% confidence limits (CL): 0.08, 0.43) in a multivariable linear regression model in which somatic symptom disturbance was the dependent variable. When modelling depressive symptoms as the dependent variable, the standardized beta coefficient was 0.17 (95% CL:0.01, 0.34). Both associations were stronger among TMD cases and IBS cases than among non-cases. Future randomized control trials that lower the omega-6/omega-3 PUFA ratio could consider somatic or depressive symptoms as a therapeutic target for TMD or IBS pain. PERSPECTIVE: In people with TMD or IBS, a high n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio was positively associated with somatic symptom disturbance and depressive symptoms. Both measures of psychological distress were elevated in people with painful TMD and IBS. Future randomized clinical trials will determine whether lowering the n-6/n-3 ratio is therapeutic for pain.

 

 

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