Pharmaceuticals Anonymous

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Omega 3 - EFA for Psychosis

There is a new study on Omega-3 fatty acids and psychosis: abstract/67/2/146

Long-Chain Fatty Acids for Indicated Prevention of
Psychotic Disorders
G. Paul Amminger, MD; Miriam R. Schäfer, MD; Konstantinos
Papageorgiou, MD; Claudia M. Klier, MD; Sue M. Cotton, PhD; Susan M.
Harrigan, MSc; Andrew Mackinnon, PhD; Patrick D. McGorry, MD, PhD;
Gregor E. Berger, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010;67(2):146- 154.

This study seems well designed.

After one year, 28% of those not taking extra Omega-3 had transitioned to psychotic
disorder while only 5% of those taking extra Omega-3 had become ill.

Omega-3 also has other health benefits; it seems to
prevent anti-inflammatory responses.

The BBC reports,
'For the test, half of the individuals took fish oil supplements (1.2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids) for 12 weeks, while the other half took only a dummy pill. Neither group knew which treatment they were receiving.
Dr Paul Amminger and his team followed the groups for a year to see how many, if any, went on to develop illness.
Two in the fish oil group developed a psychotic disorder compared to 11 in the placebo group.
Based on the results, the investigators estimate that one high-risk adult could be protected from developing psychosis for every four treated over a year.
They believe the omega-3 fatty acids found in the supplements may alter brain signalling in the brain with beneficial effects.
Alison Cobb, of the mental health charity Mind, said: "If young people can be treated successfully with fish oils, this is hugely preferable to treating them with antipsychotics, which come with a range of problems from weight gain to sexual dysfunction, whereas omega-3s are actually beneficial to their general state of health.
"These are promising results and more research is needed to show if omega-3s could be an alternative to antipsychotics in the long term."'

Those who have taken neuroleptics to avoid hospital readmission may have paid a very high price
(brain damage) for something that could perhaps have been done without drugs - using Omega-3.