X-Message-Number: 12255
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 23:07:42 -0700 (PDT)
From: Doug Skrecky <>
Subject: omega-3 fatty acids in bipolar disorder

  Stoll AL.  Severus WE.  Freeman MP.  Rueter S.  Zboyan HA.  Diamond E.  Cress
  KK.  Marangell LB.
  Brigham and Women's Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical
  School, Boston, Mass, USA. 
  Omega 3 fatty acids in bipolar disorder: a
  preliminary double-blind, placebo-controlled trial [see comments].
  Comment in: Arch Gen Psychiatry 1999 May;56(5):413-6
  Archives of General Psychiatry.  56(5):407-12, 1999 May.
  BACKGROUND: Omega3 fatty acids may inhibit
  neuronal signal transduction pathways in a manner similar to that of lithium
  carbonate and valproate, 2 effective treatments for bipolar disorder. The
  present study was performed to examine whether omega3 fatty
  acids also exhibit mood-stabilizing properties in bipolar
  disorder. METHODS: A 4-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study,
  comparing omega3 fatty acids (9.6 g/d) vs
  placebo (olive oil), in addition to usual treatment, in 30 patients with
  bipolar disorder. RESULTS: A Kaplan-Meier survival analysis of the cohort
  found that the omega3 fatty acid patient group had a
  significantly longer period of remission than the placebo group (P = .002;
  Mantel-Cox). In addition, for nearly every other outcome measure, the omega3
  fatty acid group performed better than the placebo group.
  CONCLUSION: Omega3 fatty acids were well
  tolerated and improved the short-term course of illness in this preliminary
  study of patients with bipolar disorder.

  Additional note by poster:

    Omega-3 fats look like great stuff. Reduces the risk of a 
  fatal heart attack in some studies, fights cancer, high blood
  pressure and arthritis in others. Gets five stars for usefulness
  in this corner.

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