Can omega-3 fat in fish oil prevent hallucinations, confused thoughts, delusions and other symptoms of psychosis?

fish oil capsules A recent study suggests that omega-3 fish oil capsules may prevent psychosis in young people at high risk of developing this illness.

The study involved 81 young people at high risk of psychosis. Symptoms of psychosis include hallucinations, delusions, confused thoughts and being out of touch with reality.

For three months 41 participants were given fish oil capsules daily containing 1.2 grams of omega-3 fat. The remaining 40 were given a placebo (dummy pill). The participants didn’t know which one they were taking.

A year later, of the 76 people who completed the study, those who took the fish oil capsules had fewer symptoms of psychosis and sharper minds than those who took the placebo. Two people in the fish oil group (nearly 5%) were diagnosed with a psychotic disorder compared to 11 (about 28%) in the placebo group.

How might omega-3 fat help prevent psychosis? Experts say the fat might affect the structure of cell membranes in the brain and improve connections between nerve cells.

Austrian scientists believe fish oil might be a good way to help people with schizophrenia who could have poor fatty acid metabolism.

The study’s researchers noted that many young adults do not want to take antipsychotic drugs. This is due to perceived stigma, and side effects such as sexual problems, metabolic changes and weight gain. Omega-3 fat might be a good natural alternative.

The study was conducted by Dr. G. Paul Amminger and colleagues from the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, and research centres in Australia and Switzerland. The Stanley Medical Research Institute funded the study, which was published in the February 2010 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

For more details read the full article on The JAMA Network.

Amminger, GP et al., 2010, Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids for indicated prevention of psychotic disorders: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, Archives of General Psychiatry, Vol. 67, No. 2, 146-154,

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4 Responses to “Can omega-3 fat in fish oil prevent hallucinations, confused thoughts, delusions and other symptoms of psychosis?”

  1. wow im glad fish oil fixed many of your problems. Thanks for all the information, it just gave me a lot more insight about fish oil !

  2. Thank you ever so for you blog article.Thanks Again. Really Great.

  3. Thanks, I’ve been looking for information on omega 3 recently since I heard it’s very important for a healthy brain and thats definitely important!

  4. Omega 3 says:

    Omega 3 fatty acids are the most beneficial oils a person can eat, either as suppliments or from fish. I just can’t speak highly enough about them.

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