Fish Oil Capsules help prevent the onset of psychosis in high risk individuals

February 01, 2010

Researchers from the University of Vienna placed 81 young adults on either fish oil capsules or placebo (sham treatment) for 12 weeks and monitored them for an additional 40 weeks. The subjects were all at high risk of developing psychosis because they had mild psychotic symptoms or transient psychosis or there was a family history of psychosis and they had a psychosis type of personality. They all displayed psychosis-like brain changes with a sharp decline in mental function in the past year. The fish oil dosage provided 1,200 mg of EPA with DHA daily.
At the end of the one-year study 28% (11 of 40) of the patients on placebo had progressed to psychosis but only 5% (2 of 41 people) of those on fish oil had progressed to psychosis. People taking fish oil also showed significant reductions in their psychotic symptoms and improvements in function, while they were at no greater risk of adverse effects than people taking placebo capsules. The effect of fish oil capsules, the researchers noted was similar to that seen in two trials of antipsychotic drugs in at-risk individuals. The study is published in the February 2010 issue of the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.