Can Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Fish Oil Supplements – Prevent Psychotic Disorders?

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Low omega-3 levels are linked to a higher risk of psychosis.

New research has shown that teenagers have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids acid Less likely to develop a psychotic disorder in their blood in early adulthood, suggesting that this may have a potential preventive effect in reducing the risk of psychosis.

The study, led by researchers from the RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, was published in Translational Psychiatry.

Over 3,800 people in Bristol’s Children of the 90s health study were screened for psychotic disorders, depressive disorders, and generalized anxiety disorders, ages 17 and 24.

These tests took blood samples and measured the levels of omega-6 fatty acids, which generally increase inflammation in the body, and omega-3 fatty acids, which generally reduce inflammation.


New research has found that adolescents with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood are less likely to develop psychotic disorders in early adulthood, suggesting that this could have a potential preventative effect to reduce the risk of psychosis. Credit: RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences

While there was little evidence that fatty acids were associated with mental disorders by the age of 17, researchers found that 24-year-olds with psychotic disorders, depressive disorders, and generalized anxiety disorders had higher levels of omega than them. 6- as omega-3 fatty acids without these disorders.

The researchers also found that 24-year-olds with psychotic disorders had lower scores of. exhibited given, an omega-3 fatty acid typically found in oily fish or supplements, as 24-year-olds without psychotic disorders In a group of over 2,700 people who were followed over time, adolescents with higher DHA levels developed with age aged 17, 56% less likely to develop a psychotic disorder seven years later at age 24. This suggests that DHA in adolescence may have a potential preventive effect in reducing the risk of psychosis in early adulthood.

These results remained consistent when other factors such as gender, body mass index, tobacco smoking, and socio-economic status were taken into account.

“The study has to be repeated, but if the results are consistent, these results would suggest that increased dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids in adolescents, z twenty,” said Professor David Cotter, lead author of the study and professor of molecular Psychiatry at RCSI.

“The results could also raise questions about the relationship between the development of mental disorders and omega-6 fatty acids, which are typically found in vegetable oils.”

David Mongan, RCSI PhD student and Irish Clinical Academic Training (ICAT) Fellow, analyzed the data under the supervision of Professor David Cotter and Professor Mary Cannon of the RCSI Department of Psychiatry. The ICAT program is supported by the Wellcome Trust and the Health Research Board, the Health Service Executive National Doctors Training and Planning and the Health and Social Care, Research and Development Division, Northern Ireland.

“We need to do more research to find out more about the mechanisms behind this effect, but it could potentially be related to reducing inflammation or reducing inappropriate clipping of brain connections during adolescence,” said Dr. David Mongan, the first author of the study Psychiatry Intern and PhD student at RCSI.

Reference: “Plasma Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Mental Disorders in Adolescence and Early Adulthood: Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Associations in a General Population Cohort” by David Mongan, Colm Healy, Hannah J. Jones, Stan Zammit, Mary Cannon, and David R. Cotter, May 31, 2021, Translational Psychiatry.
DOI: 10.1038 / s41398-021-01425-4

This research was supported in part by a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research grant and co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund. The UK Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust and the Bristol University Provided Core Support to Children of the 1990s, also known as the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). The data collection used in this research was jointly funded by the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.

About the RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences

The RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences is a leading global university for health and wellbeing. It ranks second in the world in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2021 for its contribution to UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 and focuses exclusively on education and research to drive improvements in human health around the world.

RCSI is an international not-for-profit university based in Dublin. In the World University Rankings (2021) she is among the 250 best universities in the world and her research ranks first in Ireland in terms of citations. RCSI has received Athena Swan Bronze accreditation for positive gender practice in higher education.

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About kids in the 90s

Children of the 90s, also known as the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), is a long-term health research project run by the University of Bristol that has involved more than 14,000 pregnant women in 1991 and 1992 and has since followed the health and development of parents and their children at the Detail and is currently recruiting the children and siblings of the original children for the study. It receives core funding from the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust and the University of Bristol.

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