Food and Behaviour Research

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16 November 2014 - Forbes - Can Fish Oils Prevent Or Delay Development Of Psychosis?

Robert Glatter, MD

Attention to risk factors and warning signs, along with targeted medical and psychiatric therapies, may prevent development of psychosis in some cases, or better prepare individuals and their families.


This media article reports on an early conference presentation of the remarkable finding that even after a follow-up period of 7 years, the effects of omega-3 in preventing transition to psychosis in young people at very high-risk were still evident.

The full paper was subsequently published in August 2015 in the prestigious journal Nature Communications. For details, see:
For more information on the original research study and related topics, please see also:

A study presented at this year’s International Early Psychosis Conference in Tokyo, Japan (Nov 17-19) shows that people taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements–commonly found in fish oils–who are at high risk of developing psychosis can prevent the condition developing for approximately 7 years.

The investigators believe that this approach, which is both safe and economical, may help keep those with this severe of mental illness more functional, while experiencing fewer episodes or “breaks”.  This would, of course, require additional independent and larger studies to confirm their findings.

A brief intervention with omega-3 supplements prevented psychosis for almost 7 years after baseline in the individuals at ultra high risk of psychosis who participated in this trial,” according to Dr. Paul Amminger, and co-authors Patrick McGorry of the Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and Monika Schlögelhofer, Medical University of Vienna, Austria.