A Supplement So Good For The Brain It Can Prevent Psychosis

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So last week on the blog we talked about how teens are more affected by good moods than bad moods and how being around others with positive mood can help them recover from depression and even prevent it in the first place!

 

What else can we do to support their brain?

 

A new study published in Nature Communications (August 2015) showed that psychotic illness can actually be prevented long term…

…even SEVEN YEARS LATER…

…by a brief three month intervention with Omega 3 fatty acids!

 

These results are so incredible they should be shouted and touted from every news outlet, media forum and in every physician’s office… so share share share this study with your loved ones.

Here’s why:

Study details:

  • 81 patients at *ultra high risk* for psychosis in young adulthood (median age 16.5 years) were followed in this double blind, placebo study
  • Half the patients received 12 weeks of fish oil supplements (700 mg EPA and 480 mg DHA) or placebo capsules matched in appearance and flavor
  • Patients were followed for almost 7 years to determine what, if any, long term effect the fish oil had on preventing psychosis
  • The Omega 3 supplements SIGNIFICANTLY prevented the transition of full threshold psychotic illness… dropping the occurrence rate from 40% of patients having a psychotic episode (in the placebo group) to less than 10% of patients in the fish oil group having a psychotic episode.

 

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Not only did fish oil continue to prevent psychosis years and years later, but patients who received placebo experienced an onset of psychosis much more quickly… the patients that experienced psychosis after receiving fish oil had a much longer psychosis free interval.

This suggests that if the fish oil was given for longer than 3 months, it would likely have prevented those remaining patients from having break through psychotic episodes.

Fish oil also cut the number of patients who needed to go on anti-psychotic medications almost in half… from 54% (in placebo group) to only 29% (in the fish oil group.)

 

So all in all, fish oil:

  • prevented the vast majority of psychotic episodes, dropping the incidence of psychosis from 40% to under 10%
  • had long term benefits that extended out over the entire 7 year follow up interval
  • prevented the rate of occurrence, extending the amount of time before patients experienced psychosis
  • decreased the patients reliance on prescription anti-psychotics, cutting the need for medication almost in half

 

 

Fish oil has already been shown to protect the brain in older adults, by preventing age-related brain changes and preserving brain volume, so this study rounds out the idea that Omega 3 fatty acids are essential throughout life by focusing on the brain health of adolescents and young adults.

 
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential from *womb to tomb* — that’s the adage that I was taught in med school and the truth of this has truly become more and more obvious with recent medical studies.

 

If Omega 3 fatty acids are this good for preventing psychotic episodes in brains suffering from psychosis…

…imagine what they can do for a healthy brain!

 

 
I’ve blogged about these health benefits for years, so hop over to one of these blog posts to read more about why Omega 3 fatty acids are in my top 3 most crucial supplements to be on…  (the other two are Vitamin D and probiotics.  Coming in at #4 and #5 are magnesium and resveratrol, respectively.)

Here are some things Omega 3’s do:

 

1. Omega 3’s increase brain volume

2. Omega 3’s effectively treat ADHD

3. Omega 3’s decrease anxiety

4. Omega 3’s decrease prostate cancer risk

5. Omega 3’s support heart health

 

Fish oil supplements aren’t stigmatizing, have very few side effects, and come with a host of other full body benefits… so this study is an incredibly powerful example of how holistic healing can have a meaningful impact on Well Being.

 

This study also underscores how nutrition can truly impact mental health… how important zinc is in preventing depression and about how important the gut’s role in mood is — probiotics being an alternative to antidepressants!

To your natural Well Being and the  immense power **YOU** have in supporting your own health…

xoxoxo, Laura