Results of a new study suggest that the daily consumption of fish oil capsules containing long-chain omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent the development of psychotic disorders in individuals at the highest risk.
Researchers from the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, and the Orygen Youth Health Research Center in Melbourne, Australia, conducted a clinical trial on 81 individuals who had mild psychotic symptoms or a family history of psychotic disorders with decreasing cognitive function.
After three months, subjects taking fish oil supplements were nearly 23 percent less likely to develop a progression of psychosis than participants in the control group who took a placebo. The research team also found that the nutrient considerably reduced symptoms and improved functioning in those with psychotic tendencies.
"The finding that treatment with a natural substance may prevent or at least delay the onset of psychotic disorder gives hope that there may be alternatives to antipsychotics for the prodromal [early symptomatic] phase," the authors stated.
Subjects taking omega-3 fatty acids did incur some digestive complications but were predominantly free of any clinically relevant undesirable effects.