It was proven five years ago that a certain fish oil supplement could prevent an episode of a psychotic disorder.
Fish Oil Supplement May Prevent Psychotic Disorders – How?
Those who are at high risk of suffering from psychosis could take a fish oil supplement containing sufficient amount of omega-3 fatty acids to prevent a first episode of a psychotic disorder.
After five years, the same team that made a study of fish oil supplement found that this intervention won’t only stave off psychotic disorder but it could also reduce chances of schizophrenia to progress when the supplement is taken for seven years.
Not all types of omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial, according to experts. The most essential omega-3 fatty acids are PUFAs or the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are pertinent in maintaining healthy nerve cells and they play an important role in the development and structure of the brain.
Deficiencies of PUFAs are actually seen and observed in individuals who are suffering from schizophrenia. Thus, supplementing your body with omega-3 fatty acids can reduce psychotic symptoms, i.e. if you’re prone to this type of disorder.
Most of the treatments for schizophrenia would only relieve symptoms. They aren’t proven to stave off psychotic symptoms. Thus, scientists investigated the potential effects of omega-3 as preventative measure.
Although it has proven that such supplement could prevent psychosis, scientists could not tell who will and who won’t develop schizophrenia. However, scientists do have some ways to identify who might likely to suffer from psychosis based on the clinical syndrome manifested by those ultra-high risk individuals.
Because early intervention could better protect those ultra-high risk individuals, scientists from the University of Melbourne investigated as to whether or not omega-3 PUFAs could indeed prevent progression of signs and symptoms to psychotic disorder.
The first phase of the study was conducted 10 years ago. Those who were given a supplement of omega-3 PUFAs for 12 weeks have prevented their first episode of psychotic disorder for up to 12 months.
It was further noted that those who were taken such supplement have experienced an onset of psychosis after a year, but the signs and symptoms were more gradual compared to those who were given a placebo. Those who have undergone intervention were reported to have fewer psychiatric disorders throughout the study.
The study conducted about fish oil supplement to prevent psychotic disorders was just small. Despite that, it did offer encouraging results that would indicate that omega-3 PUFA supplementation could be a viable way to prevent the onset of psychosis in those who are at high-risk of development psychotic disorder.
Further studies are still needed to make a thorough conclusion. Researchers have yet to see the underlying mechanisms that are still unclear.