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Omega-3 Fatty Acids And Bipolar Disorder

Introduction

According to everydayhealth.com, the following has been noted about the correlation between Omega-3 fatty acids and mental health:

Omega-3 fatty acids appear to be important to brain function. Omega-3s are highly concentrated in the brain, particularly DHA and EPA. Infants who don’t get enough of these substances from their mothers during pregnancy can develop nerve and vision problems. People with an omega-3 deficiency may also have symptoms that include poor memory and mood swings. Researchers believe omega-3s may play a crucial role in nervous system activity, and some studies have found that people taking omega-3 supplements showed signs of cognitive improvement.

It can also be determined that Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for individuals with Bipolar Disorder.  This article will describe the relationship between Omega-3 fatty acids and Bipolar Disorder.

The Role Of EPA And DHA In Bipolar Disorder

Omega-3 fatty acids are integral component of the treatment of Bipolar Disorder, especially EPA and DHA.  According to everydayhealth.com, the following can be stated about the correlation between Omega-3 fatty acids and Bipolar Disorder

Doctors believe omega-3 fatty acids are a potential treatment for bipolar disorder because the fish-oil fatty acids, EPA and DHA, can alter brain signal pathways in ways similar to mood stabilizers like lithium and valproate. That makes EPA and DHA potentially the most important omega-3s as far as bipolar disorder is concerned. Postmortem examinations of bipolar patients have found significantly lower DHA concentrations in the prefrontal cortex compared with the general population, and epidemiological surveys have found that people who eat more fish or seafood are less likely to have bipolar disorder.

Therefore, it can be determined that fish-oil fatty acids, EPA and DHA, alter brain signal pathways in ways to similar to mood stabilizers and there is a relationship between Omega-3 fatty acids and Bipolar Disorder.

Conclusion

This article has focused on the relationship between Omega-3 fatty acids and Bipolar Disorder.  According to everydayhealth.com, “Several studies found that an omega-3 combination of EPA and DHA produced a statistically significant improvement in patients’ bipolar symptoms, particularly depressive symptoms.”  In addition, studies have also shown that taking EPA alone is not as effective.  According to everydayhealth.com, “But results from research investigating the use of EPA alone have been split, with some finding improvement in patients and others detecting no significant relief.”  Hence, a combination of EPA and DHA are an integral part of the treatment of Bipolar Disorder.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids And Bipolar Disorder

Lauren Walters

My name is Lauren Walters. I am currently heading into my final semester of graduate school for Mental Health Counseling in the Spring of 2016. Through my own experiences with mental illness, I love to inspire others through my writings and reassure them that they can live healthy, productive lives, despite mental illness. I hope you enjoy my articles. Feel free to comment. I will be sure to respond to you questions and/or comments in a prompt manner. Enjoy!


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APA Reference
Walters, L. (2016). Omega-3 Fatty Acids And Bipolar Disorder. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 21, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/coping-depression/2016/12/omega-3-fatty-acids-and-bipolar-disorder/

 

Last updated: 11 Dec 2016
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Dec 2016
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.