A new study has found that fish oil supplements may help reduce the risk of psychosis in young people. Presented at the 2014 Early Psychosis Conference in Tokyo, the study enrolled 81 individuals, ages 13 to 25. The participants all had a very high risk of developing psychosis, either because they had a close relative with a psychotic disorder or because they were already experiencing some symptoms of psychosis, such as hallucinations. Half of the participants received fish oil capsules daily for 12 weeks, while the other half were given placebos. The fish oil capsules contained a daily total of 700 mg of EPA, 480 mg of DHA, and 7.6 mg of vitamin E. The researchers discovered that:
After 7 years, only 10% of the people in the fish oil group developed psychosis, while 40% developed it in the placebo group.
The findings are even more impressive considering how safe fish oil is, especially when compared to the serious side effects of antipsychotic medications. Nevertheless, more research is needed to confirm that fish oil and omega-3 fats do indeed have a protective effect for individuals who are at risk for psychosis. One doctor, who wasn’t involved in the study, commented that the results seem almost too good to be true, namely that taking fish oil for 12 weeks could ward off psychosis seven years later.
Source: USA Today