Food and Behaviour Research

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19 March 2010 - Psychiatric News - Omega-3s May Have Ability to Delay or Prevent Psychosis

by Joan Arehart-Treichel


The long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and seafood (called EPA and DHA) have long been known to have benefits for general health, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease - which is higher in patients with schizophrenia than in the general population.

In this study (a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial), supplementation with fish oils providing 1.2 grams / day for just 12 weeks was found to protect against the emergence of schizophrenia for 12 months in young people who were judged to be at high risk of developing this illness.

See also:  Fish Oil Supplements 'beat psychotic mental illness'

Supplements of omega-3 fatty acids have now been deployed against some of the most formidable psychiatric illnesses—psychotic disorders—and initial results are encouraging.

Suppose you gave omega-3 fatty acids to a patient in the prodromal phase of schizophrenia. Could the supplement keep the illness from developing further? Quite possibly, a study reported in the February Archives of General Psychiatry suggests.