Friday, September 26, 2008

Omega-3's for schizophrenia

DHA is commonly the omega-3 of the fish oils that gets the most attention for use in mental health conditions. However, EPA is gaining quite a reputation of its own. In this study, 24 patients presenting with their first episode of psychosis were treated with EPA for 12 weeks. Just before and at the end of this interval, brain scans were done to look for changes. Increases in glutathione and decreases in negative symptoms were observed as a result of EPA treatment.

Glutathione is a chemical that helps to prevent cell death, so its increase means EPA helps to preserve brain tissue. Because glutathione is not something that is easily administed via diet or supplementation, it's good to know there are other avenues for increasing its concentrations in populations at risk for greater rates of cell death, such as people with schizophrenia.

Berger GE, Wood SJ, Wellard RM, Proffitt TM, McConchie M, Amminger GP, Jackson GD, Velakoulis D, Pantelis C, McGorry PD. Ethyl-eicosapentaenoic acid in first-episode psychosis. A 1H-MRS study. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2008 Sep;33(10):2467-73. Epub 2008 Jan 16.

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