Omega-3 study finds fish oil may play a part in schizophrenia prevention

Emerging research from Australia reveals that there could be a link between fish oil/omega-3 intake and the prevention of psychosis/schizophrenia in at-risk teens.

A report featured in the latest edition of the journal Nature Communications recounts the experiments conducted by University of Melbourne researcher G. Paul Amminger and his team, which delved into the potential effects of omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish oil on subjects ages 12 to 25. The subjects – whose age makes them one of the demographics most susceptible to developing the mental condition psychosis – had been observed initially in clinical trials by the research team that spanned a 12-week timespan, with repeated follow-ups for a year and then seven years.

Forty-one of the subjects received a daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids while 40 others received a placebo treatment during the initial 12 week clinical trials. According to the results, only 10 percent of the participants who received omega-3s went on to develop schizophrenia or another related condition – comparatively, 40 percent of those in the placebo group went on to do so.

“This indicates that some cases of psychosis were truly prevented in the omega-3 group,” said Amminger to Forbes.

The researchers also looked into the effects of fish oil on other mental health conditions, such as anxiety and mood disorders, but could not identify any significant differences between the placebo group and fish oil group in this realm. Only 53 percent of the fish oil subjects eventually met the criteria for a mental health disorder, whereas 83 percent of the placebo group met the criteria.

Explore more of the study here: