Fish oils may ease manic depression


Section: Just In
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils may help ease the symptoms of bipolar disorder, commonly known as manic depression, according to new research from Harvard University.

Researchers followed 30 men and women being treated for the disorder. About half of them took seven fish oil capsules twice a day (totaling almost 10 grams), while the rest took an equal number' of placebo pills. After four months, nine of the 14 who took fish oil supplements experienced relief of symptoms compared to just three of the 16 who took placebos.

The researchers theorize omega-3 fats may work by preventing transmission of brain signals that trigger the dramatic mood swings that characterize the disorder. The findings, though preliminary, may hold promise for treating other psychiatric disorders as well, including depression, schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Archives of General Psychiatry, May 1999.

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