According to a new study published in the journal Nature Communications the fatty acid omega-3 which is derived from fish oil can prevent the development of psychotic disorder among teenagers who are prone to such conditions.
Besides the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic (EPA) oil fish also contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA). All these compounds play a very important role in hormone production.
The double-blind randomized trial involved 81 participants with ages between 12 and 25. They had all been reported to be susceptible to develop psychosis. 41 participants were required to undergo a 3-month daily course of fish oil and the rest of the participants used a placebo.
After three months have passed the participants were further monitored for a period of one year. The research team identified that only two of the 41 participants who took fish oil showed signs of psychosis. On the other hand the placebo group reported higher rates. 11 of the 40 participants developed a psychotic disorder.
Seven years after the study the researchers discovered that most of the participants who took fish oil did not exhibit any signs of psychotic disorder. Among the 41 individuals only four of them developed a psychotic disorder. This is the equivalent of ten percent. Among the 40 participants of the placebo group 16 of them developed a psychotic disorder.
The lead author of the study G. Paul Amminger, researchers at the University of Melbourne, commented on the results of the study:
This is an amazing finding and we were surprised that the effect at the long-term follow-up was exceeding the results at 12 months. This indicates that some cases of psychosis were truly prevented in the omega-3 group.”
Overall 53 percent of the participants in the fish oil group suffered from psychotic disorders, whereas among the placebo group 83 percent of the participants developed such conditions.
The participants who took oil fish were also reported to be less likely to consume Cannabis and none of them suffered from eating disorders.
The research team also looked at how fish oil affects other mental conditions such as mood disorder and anxiety. But in the case of these conditions the differences between the fish oil group and the placebo group were not significant.
Image Source: depositphotos.com