Essential fatty acids & mental health (2005)

The study investigated essential fatty acids & mental health. A review finds that there is an association between depression and low dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids and that low levels of the fatty acids in red blood cell membranes are found in both depressive and schizophrenic patients. Five of six double-blind, placebo-controlled trials in schizophrenia, and four of six such trials in depression, have reported therapeutic benefit from omega-3 fatty acids in particularly when EPA is added on to existing psychotropic medication. Individual clinical trials have suggested benefits of EPA treatment in borderline personality disorder and of combined omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The evidence to date supports the use of omega-3 fatty acids in the management of treatment unresponsive depression and schizophrenia alongside medication. As these conditions are associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus, omega-3 fatty acids should also benefit the physical state of these patients.

Peet & Stokes, ‘Omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of psychiatric disorders ‘, Drugs, 65(8):1051-9, 2005

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