Font Size
A
A
A

Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Bipolar Disorder


Topic Overview

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in marine or plant sources, such as fish oil and flaxseed oil. Preliminary studies suggest that people with bipolar disorder who take omega-3 fatty acids have a significantly longer period in which their mood is stable with no episodes of depression or mania (remission).1

There are few, if any, negative side effects of taking omega-3 fatty acids. Loose stools were reported most often. Researchers think that omega-3 fatty acids may block signals in the central nervous system that trigger depression and mania. But more research needs to be conducted before there is sufficient evidence that omega-3 fatty acids improve the course of bipolar disorder.2

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. Lin PY, Su KP (2007). A meta-analytic review of double-blind, placebo-controlled trials for antidepressant efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 68(7): 1056–1061.

  2. Montgomery P, Richardson AJ (2008). Omega-3 fatty acids for bipolar disorder. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (3).

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerLisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
Last RevisedMarch 9, 2010

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

To learn more visit Healthwise.org

© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.





Medical Dictionary