Menu

Fish Oil May Slow Schizophrenia

Omega-3 supplementation reduced progression rates among people with early-stage symptoms of schizophrenia, according to a small trial.

Aug 13, 2015
Jef Akst

WIKIMEDIA, ODDMAN47Seven years ago, investigators enrolled 81 people aged 13 to 25 with early signs of schizophrenia in a clinical trial to test the effects of omega-3 fish oil pills. A paper published this week (August 11) in Nature Communications reported on 71 of those participants, pointing to a notable benefit of the supplements: only 10 percent of those taking fish oils ultimately developed schizophrenia, compared with 40 percent of the placebo group.

“I don’t want to sound like a cynic or a skeptic, but it’s almost too good to be true,” psychiatrist Jeffrey Lieberman of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City who was not involved in the study told ScienceNews.

Schizophrenia usually starts to manifest in the first 20 to 30 years of life, with minor delusions and paranoid thoughts often occurring in the teenage years or younger. But only about a third of people who present with such early symptoms eventually develop psychosis, New Scientist reported. After researchers found that the blood cells of schizophrenia patients have lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids than those of healthy controls, scientists in the field began to investigate the possibility that supplementing these compounds could treat the disorder. Results of early trials have been mixed, but this latest study points to the potential benefit of fatty acids if taken early enough.

“Schizophrenia is a major cause of disability, but early treatment has been linked to better outcomes,” coauthor Paul Amminger at the University of Melbourne in Australia told The Guardian. “Our study gives hope that there may be alternatives to antipsychotic medication.”

November 2018

Intelligent Science

Wrapping our heads around human smarts

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Slice® Safety Cutters for Lab Work

Slice® Safety Cutters for Lab Work

Slice cutting tools—which feature our patent-pending safety blades—meet many lab-specific requirements. Our scalpels and craft knives are well suited for delicate work, and our utility knives are good for general use.

The Lab of the Future: Alinity Poised to Reinvent Clinical Diagnostic Testing and Help Improve Healthcare

The Lab of the Future: Alinity Poised to Reinvent Clinical Diagnostic Testing and Help Improve Healthcare

Every minute counts when waiting for accurate diagnostic test results to guide critical care decisions, making today's clinical lab more important than ever. In fact, nearly 70 percent of critical care decisions are driven by a diagnostic test.

LGC announces new, integrated, global portfolio brand, Biosearch Technologies, representing genomic tools for mission critical customer applications

LGC announces new, integrated, global portfolio brand, Biosearch Technologies, representing genomic tools for mission critical customer applications

LGC’s Genomics division announced it is transforming its branding under LGC, Biosearch Technologies, a unified portfolio brand integrating optimised genomic analysis technologies and tools to accelerate scientific outcomes.