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Low levels of omega-3 associated with higher risk of psychosis

A new clinical research found that adolescents with higher levels of an omega-3 fatty acid in their blood were less likely to develop psychotic disorder in early adulthood, suggesting that it may have a potential preventative effect of reducing the risk of psychosis.

Over 3,800 individuals in Bristol's Children of the 90s health study were assessed for psychotic disorder, depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder at age 17 and at age 24.

During these assessments, blood samples were collected, and the researchers measured the levels of omega-6 fatty acids, which generally increase inflammation in the body, and omega-3 fatty acids, which generally reduce inflammation.

The researchers also found that 24-year-olds with psychotic disorder had lower levels of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid typically found in oily fish or dietary supplements, than 24-year-olds without psychotic disorder. In a group of over 2,700 individuals who were tracked over time, adolescents with higher levels of DHA at age 17 were 56% less likely to develop psychotic disorder seven years later at age 24. This suggests that DHA in adolescence may have a potential preventative effect of reducing the risk of psychosis in early adulthood.

 

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