Today, I wanna share with you the relationship between fatty acids, or fish oils, in the prevention of psychiatric disease.
It's a great study that was just published in February, in the Archives of General Psychiatry. The title of the study is "Long-Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids of Indicated Prevention of Psychotic Disorder."
Now, here's the story behind what they did...
(This came from Austria.) Essentially, they took 81 young patients, and they monitored them over a year. These people were – are – were being monitored because they had been showing signs of psychotic behavior, not like killing people, but disorganized thinking, delusional thinking, psychiatric types of symptoms.
Essentially what they did is all they did is they took 12 weeks of fish oil. That's it.
They took twelve weeks of about a gram a day of omega-3 fatty acids. Not every day. Not for the whole 12 months. Just for twelve weeks.
There were two groups;
- the group that took the fish oil
- the group that got psychotherapy alone.
Over the next 12 months, here's what happened...
Out of the group that got the fish oils, they had --as measured by the clinicians---less delusional thinking, more motivation, less disorganized thinking. 12 months later....here's the really cool part....
...Some of these people still progressed on to psychosis. That did happen.....
But check this out.---Out of the treatment group, only 5% progressed to full-blown psychosis. In the psychotherapy group 28% progressed to full-blown psychosis.
I think that's a pretty significant different, 5% versus 28%.
What I want you to think about is--- why would that happen?
Why would omega-3 fatty acids prevent someone from having full-blown psychosis?
Well, there's a bunch of different reasons, but the main reason is every cell in your body is made up of these fats. Every cell has a cell membrane (like a wall). I don't care if it's your muscle cell or your eye cell or your brain. This membrane is made of phospholipids (fats).
If you don't have the right fats, the membrane and the cell are not going to work correctly. On a basic foundational level, cells can't work right without Omega-3 fats.
Now, from a neurological perspective...
...about 70% of your brain is fat. If you don't have the adequate intake of the right kinds of fats, once again, your brain can be a specific targeted for malfunction.
It doesn't mean that if you don't have enough fats, you're gonna develop a psychiatric disorder. This does mean, in this study particularly, that these people benefited from only twelve weeks of supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids.
Let me give you a third reason why Omega 3 Fatty Acids work.
The third reason is inflammation. Omega-3 fats are known to down-regulate inflammation.
Inflammation is pretty much the hallmark of any psychiatric disorder. I'm talking about Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, schizophrenia--you name it--- these all feature inflammation in the brain.
Their brain is on fire. So when you use omega-3 fatty acids, it's like putting a fire extinguisher and putting out the fire.
Same thing In this study group of 81 people--5% (not 28%), progressed to full-blown psychosis. I mean this is a fantastic study.CAUTION: I don't recommend that you rush out and go buy fatty acids. Number one, a lot of them aren't very good. That's going to irritate a lot of the people that are watching this right now, but a lot of the fatty acids that are available commercially aren't very good. They can be rancid. You don't how they're being made (and boy, that's a whole 'nother story about how these things are made.)
When it comes to pyschiatric conditions, I don't recommend you try to treat yourself. I want you to find someone who can evaluate you both neurologically and metabolically. And find out if Omega 3 Fatty Acids are even appropriate for you in the first place.
Now, it's not that they're dangerous...but you could be wasting time and money trying to self-medicate. There's no shortcuts. I mean, if you've got a problem, you want to have it investigated. Find out what's really going on.
This study from the Archives of General Psychiatry is a fantastic demonstration, a profound demonstration, that nature is very powerful.
If we listened to Nature and tried not to muck around with it too much... give Nature a helping hand when it needs it... we could enjoy great health.
Imagine the change in the life of these people. Omega 3 Fatty Acids prevented psychosis. That's huge.
This should be standard of care for anyone that's being monitored for psychiatric concerns
Listen to this post using the player below:
© 2010 Dr. David Clark
THE PLACE FOR ANSWERS™
Dr. David Clark
Diplomate College of Clinical Nutritionist
Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist
Vestibular Rehab Specialist