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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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Three arrested with tiger hides

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KATHMANDU- The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) on Tuesday arrested three persons in possession of tiger hides.

The CIB said that Man Bahadur Tamang of Shailung Rural Municipality in Dolakha; Lokmaya Gurung of Barpak Sulikot Rural Municipality in Gorkha district and Amar Singh of Tilathi Koiladi Rural Municipality in Saptari district were arrested from Budhanilkantha in the capital city acting on a tip off about their involvement in smuggling of animals’ hides and skeleton.

All three have been sent to the Division Forests Office, Kathmandu for further actions. According to the Superintendent of Police Sudip Giri, the alleged would be booked as per the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1973 and CITES Convention, 1975.

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