Omega-3 fatty acids for bipolar disorder

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in marine or plant sources, such as fish oil and flaxseed oil. Preliminary studies suggest that people with bipolar disorder who take omega-3 fatty acids have a significantly longer period in which their mood is stable with no episodes of depression or mania (remission).1

There are few, if any, negative side effects of taking omega-3 fatty acids. Loose stools were reported most often. Researchers think that omega-3 fatty acids may block signals in the central nervous system that trigger depression and mania. But more research needs to be conducted before there is sufficient evidence that omega-3 fatty acids improve the course of bipolar disorder.2

Citations

  1. Lin PY, Su KP (2007). A meta-analytic review of double-blind, placebo-controlled trials for antidepressant efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 68(7): 1056–1061.
  2. Bowden CL (2001). Novel treatments for bipolar disorder. Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs, 10(4): 661–671.

Last Updated: March 14, 2008

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