A recent study suggests that a 3-month course of Omega-3 pills may help young patients with a high risk of developing schizophrenia or other psychiatric illnesses stay out of harm’s way.
Researchers reported that they observed such effects after seven years in which participants took the supplements at least 12 weeks per year. The recent study is the first to find a strong link between fish oil and a reduced risk of psychiatric disorders.
Researchers underscored the supplement’s efficacy since a very brief course of capsules proved so effective in reducing such devastating diseases among young adult population.
The recent study, which was published this week in the journal Nature Communications, confirms previous studies on fish oil’s positive outcomes on mental health. Past studies had shown that Omega-3 fatty acids which are abundant in fish oil capsules, but also in salmon, tuna, and mackerel are efficient in enhancing the effects of antidepressants and anti-ADHD drugs.
Omega 3 was also found effective is reducing pregnant women’s post-partum depression and was heavily recommended by doctors for that reason after pregnancy for years. Additionally, decades-old studies had shown that fish oil boosted memory in students and young adults.
In the latest research, scientists focused on a group of population that is particularly at risk of developing severe mental illnesses. Study participants were teens and adults aged 13 to 25 who had a history of delusional thinking and hallucination, or had relatives who were diagnosed with mental disorders and their mental health was continuously deteriorating.
Young people who have these problems or a family history of mental illness have an up to 40 percent chance of developing a serious mental illness mostly schizophrenia in their adult years. And about 70 percent of those at high risk of schizophrenia can be affected by other mental disorders including severe depression, drug abuse, or bipolar disorder.
Mental health experts explained that these teens or young adults may have a hard time when a mental illness installs because the drugs taken to treat it are especially impairing and have a series of side effects. Plus, those medications do not cure schizophrenia, they just try to make it socially acceptable.
In the study 41 volunteers took a daily dose of Omega-3 with 700 mg of Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 480 mg of Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for three months over the course of seven years. Forty participants took only a placebo during that time.
Seven years later, 40 percent of the group that didn’t take fish oil already developed a full-fledged psychiatric disorder, while in the other group only 10 percent of people had a similar outcome.
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