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Depression linked to low levels of amino acid

Raghu Kshitiz

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Depression linked to low levels of amino acid. Representationla image

KATHMANDU — Reduced levels of an amino acid found in blood samples have been linked to major depressive disorder, according to a new study at the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital.

People suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD) have reduced arginine levels, which is an amino acid, the body uses to produce, such as nitric oxide.

Researchers studied 99 adults aged 20-71 with diagnosed MDD and 253 non-depressed control adults in a report published Wednesday in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

Nitric oxide, in turn, is a nervous system and immune defence mediator, and it also plays a role in vascular regulation. The global arginine bioavailability ratio (GABR) is an indicator of the body’s arginine levels, and the ratio has previously been used to measure the body’s capacity to produce nitric oxide.

The body uses the amino acid arginine to produce nitric oxide, which is a mediator for the nervous system and immune defender, and plays a role in vascular regulation. Reduced arginine bioavailability is also known to be an independent risk factor of cardiovascular diseases.

“It is possible that depression-induced inflammatory responses lead to reduced arginine levels,” doctoral student Toni Ali-Sisto, the lead author of the study, said in a release.

“This may result in insufficient production of nitric oxide for the needs of the nervous system and circulation. However, we don’t know yet what exactly causes reduced arginine bioavailability in people with depression.”

Researchers analyzed three amino acids — arginine, citrulline and ornithine — from participants’ fasting glucose samples. In addition, symmetric and asymmetric dimethylarginine concentrations were also measured from the serum. This data was used to calculate their global arginine bioavailability ratio.

No significant differences were found in the symmetric and asymmetric dimethylarginine concentrations between the two groups.

“Although our study shows that people with depression have reduced arginine bioavailability, this doesn’t mean that taking an arginine supplement would protect against depression. That’s an area for further research,” Ali-Sisto says.

And there were no significant differences between people who remained depressed and those who had recovered.

With Agency Inputs

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Drinking water shortage hits life at Yasok in Panchthar

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PACHTHAR — A shortage of drinking water at Yasok Bazar, the center of Kummayak Rural Municipality, has thrown the normal life of the locals out of gear.

The problem arose after the local market management committee removed water pipes installed in the bazaar area. Per household here was getting 50 liters of drinking water once in two days before this.

Water scarcity here is not a new occurrence at Yasok which normally remains dry, but the complete disruption in the supply of taps water has paralysed the life, according to local hotelier Keshab Thapa.

There is no natural or artificial water source nearby the area and locals are forced to dependent on the supply by the local government through tractors in a very limited quantity.

The rural municipality has started fetching water from the local Chhorunga stream and distributing it to the locals. Tractors are used to transport stream water to the area.

Earlier, the 650 households at Yasok were using drinking water supplied by the Yasok Deurali Drinking Water Project. Regular supply (once in two days) was too less to meet demand. There is a demand for some 250,000 liters of water at Yasok per day.

According to Yasok Market Management Consumers Committee secretary Mahendra Bahadur Khadka, water pipes were removed (without any alternative arrangements) in course of market management efforts and it will take some more days to restore them and water scarcity is to go for more few days

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