Fish oil could be the key to preventing schizophrenia development among teenagers

According to a recent study, fish oil could be a way to stop schizophrenia developing among people that start to show the first signs of the condition.

Previous studies have been conducted into the benefits of omega-3 in relation to treating fully developed schizophrenia among adults, but this new research assed the impact of giving omega-3 fish oil pills to younger people.

81 people aged 13 to 25 formed the test group of individuals that demonstrated early indications of the psychological condition.

Approximately half the group took fish oil pills while the remainder took placebo tablets throughout a period of three months.

Following one year, those that had been given fish oil tablets were less likely to have developed psychosis.

Now, after seven years, out of 71 of the participants only 10 per cent of those given fish oils went on to develop schizophrenia, compared with 40 per cent of the placebo group.

People with schizophrenia can experience symptoms of the condition, such as minor delusions or paranoid thoughts, years before they get a diagnosis.

David Taylor of the Maudsley Hospital in London said that the results are very promising, but he highlighted the fact that the trial was relatively small and that further studies would be required to fully establish the benefits of taking fish oil at various stages.

Nigel Barnes of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust agrees that the study needs to be repeated with a larger group, but that people should still give fish oils a try.

However, he also warned that products bought from high street shops might not have the right dose of the right fatty acids to match those used in the trial.

 

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