A recent and extremely thorough study has found that fish oil defends against schizophrenia. Good news for those of us whose parents insisted that they take omega-3 dietary supplements daily. It now seems that they were more than right to do so.
No matter how yucky it may seem, taste, and smell, the miracle pill had been already proven to improve the working memory and performance in young and healthy individuals. It also improved attention and boosted the effectiveness of antidepressants. This discovery has been quite usefull in the treatment of ADHD.
Now, this newest research shows that it should be a recommended treatment for those suffering from most types of mental illness, and especially schizophrenics.
The research was based in Vienna and it took seven whole years to complete. The study paper based on it was just recently published in the Nature Communications journal. The study’s conclusion says that people showing risks of developing such mental conditions should immediately start treatment.
It’s good news if you like fish. Eating a steady diet containing salmon or mackerel could give you just about the amount of Omega-3 fat acids that you need, as the two fish have the highest concentrations of the oil. However, it’s hard to adapt to a fish diet, and for treatment purposes, taking a pill makes you have much more control.
The researchers selected a group of 81 young people between the ages of 13 and 25. They were chosen on account of their seeking psychological advice and treatment or exhibiting problems in correctly completing their social functions – i.e. studying or school/ working, or behaving at home.
The 81 individuals were split into two groups. The first group of 41 were given the Omega-3 fish oil pill treatment to take for 12 weeks. The second, a control group of 40 people, were given a placebo, also for 12 weeks. They wanted to see if their mental state worsened, or if they developed other mental conditions, such as full-blown psychosis. When dealing with mental illness, doctors often treat for more than the existing problem, as it can have a snowball effect and easily lead to other disorders.
The results from this study were extremely promising. Of the placebo group, 41% went through an episode of psychosis, 54% were on medication against the condition, and 83% had been diagnosed with more psychiatric problems than seven years prior, when the study began.
Of the fish-oil group, by comparison, 10% had psychotic episodes, 29% were on medicine, and 53% developed one other psychiatric condition. As the age of the participants in the study seems crucial in the development of the brain, parents are encouraged to give their children a relatively normal amount of Omega-3.