Fish prevents madness? 
Author Message
 Fish prevents madness?

how much canned mackerel (all i can afford to buy on this list) to make
10 grams of
epa/om-3 oil per day?

maybe the large oversupply of tuna this year should be given to the
prison populations and psychiatric programs? beats government cheese.

if you drink, eat fish!

and no, i don't work for the tuna-farmers-of-america.


More News on Research Indicating Fish oil as potentially reducing
risk of mental illness

The consumption of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish and

fish oil may reduce the symptoms of a variety of psychiatric illnesses,
including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression, researchers

At an international conference sponsored by the National
Institutes of Health, scientists said that though the data are
preliminary, a growing body of evidence suggests that higher
consumption of essential fatty acids in the oils, notably one
called omega-3, appears linked to a lower risk of depression
and better treatment outcomes in manic-depression and

``Research suggests that (fatty acids) may have a role in
psychiatric disorders,'' said Dr. Joseph Hibbeln of the National
Institute on {*filter*} Abuse and {*filter*}ism, part of the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland.

The workshop was prompted in part by the results of three recent

Findings from one study, conducted by Dr. Andrew Stoll of the
Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, suggest that
fish oil supplementation could help alleviate the symptoms of
bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder.

For a 4-month period, Stoll gave 14 bipolar patients daily
supplements of either fish oil or a ``dummy pill,'' or placebo. He
found that ``overall, 9 of 14 patients responded favorably to the
addition of omega-3 fatty acids (to their diet), compared to only 3
of 16 patients receiving placebo.''

Another study focused on the effects of one fish-oil fatty acid,
eicosapentaenoic (EPA), in the treatment of schizophrenia. A
3-month trial conducted by Dr. Malcolm Peet of Northern General
Hospital in Sheffield, England, concluded that ``a 25%
improvement (in schizophrenic symptoms) in the EPA treated
group,'' compared with patients receiving either docosahexaenoic
acid (DHA, another omega-3 fatty acid) or placebo.

A third study, conducted by Hibbeln, focused on levels of
omega-3 fatty acids in the {*filter*} of 50 patients hospitalized after

attempting suicide.

Hibbeln found that, among nondepressive (but not depressive)
patients, high {*filter*} concentrations of EPA ``predicted strikingly
lower (better) scores in 6 different psychological rating scales
which are related to suicidal risk.'' The NIH researcher says these
findings suggest that ``some subgroups of suicidal patients may
reduce their suicidal risk with the consumption of EPA.''
Hibbeln also noted that another study showed that dietary intake
of EPA and DHA may influence serotonin function in the brain.
``Such an alteration in serotinergic function may possibly reduce
depressive, suicidal and {*filter*} behavior, but these changes have
not yet been demonstrated in... clinical trials,'' he said in a

Hibbeln explained that the brain's synaptic membranes, where
much of the brain's neurological signaling takes place, ``have a
large proportion of essential fatty acids in them -- fatty acids which
are derived entirely from the diet.''

He points out that ``in the last century, (Western) diets have
radically changed and we eat grossly fewer omega-3 fatty acids
now. We also know that rates of depression have radically
increased by perhaps a hundred-fold'' over the same period of

Links between fish consumption and neurological health may be
supported by the results of global studies. According to Hibbeln,

those findings suggest that ``rates of major depression are
markedly different across countries, depending upon how much
fish is consumed in those countries.''

Fish oils that are already believed to reduce the risk
of heart disease may help combat a number of serious psychiatric
as well, researchers said yesterday.

At an international conference sponsored by the
National Institutes of Health, scientists said that though the data are
preliminary, a growing body of evidence suggests that higher consumption
essential fatty acids in the oils, notably one called omega-3, appears
linked to a lower risk of  depression and better treatment of
and schizophrenia.

Essential fatty acids must be consumed in the diet or as
supplements because the body cannot make them. A major

dietary source of omega-3 is fatty fish such as mackerel,
Atlantic salmon, bluefish, halibut, herring and sockeye salmon.

The researchers shied away from making specific
recommendations for consuming fish or omega-3 supplements.

Consuming high quantities of omega-3 supplements, however,
can suppress immune function, conceivably leaving people
more vulnerable to infection. On the other hand, Lindner said,
omega-3 supplements seem to help people with arthritis, an
auto-immune disorder. A 3,000-milligram daily dose has been
shown to reduce the symptoms caused by immune system
damage to joint tissue. Omega-3 can also reduce the ability of
the {*filter*} to clot, which means it could be hazardous in a
person with a bleeding disorder.

The new research includes data suggesting that countries where
large quantities of fish are eaten have lower rates of depression
than countries where fish is not a major part of the diet, said
Dr. Joseph R. Hibbeln, chief of the outpatient clinic at the

National Institute on {*filter*} Abuse and {*filter*}ism at the
National Institutes of Health.

Major depression, "the greatest single cause of years of life lost
to disability worldwide," is 60 times more prevalent in some
countries than others, Hibbeln said. Fish consumption appears
to be an "important protective factor."

Lindner called the link between fish oils and reduced incidence
of depression "provocative," but said it's "too early to make a
recommendation that people suffering from a mood disorder
should eat more fish or start taking omega-3 supplements."

Hibbeln's team found that higher {*filter*} levels of two omega-3
fatty acids (EPA and DHA) in both normal people and
{*filter*}ics correlated with higher levels of an important brain
chemical, serotonin. This suggests, he said, that consuming
omega-3 fatty acids may influence production of serotonin.
Many scientists believe that low levels of serotonin are linked
to depressive, suicidal, or {*filter*} behavior.

In one study of 18 suicidal patients, higher {*filter*} levels of EPA
were linked to lower scores on tests that predict suicide,
Hibbeln noted. The emerging data, taken as a whole, suggest
that EPA and DHA may reduce depressive and suicidal

Dr. Andrew L. Stoll, director of psychopharmacology at
Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, reported what he
called "very exciting" results from a study of about 50 patients
with manic-depression, or bipolar disorder, which affects an
estimated 2 million Americans.

About half the patients were given 10 grams a day of omega-3
(equal to many servings of fish) in a special formulation and the
other half received a placebo made of olive oil. All patients
continued to receive their usual medications as well.

The study was planned to last nine months, said Stoll, but after
four months the rate of relapse in the omega-3 group was
dramatically lower, prompting researchers to stop the study
I publish this periodic newsletter in memory of my brother John who
suffered from Schizophrenia and who, to my infinite regret, took his own

life in late 1995. Please forward the newsletter to anyone and
everyone who might learn from it. - Brian Chiko, Publisher


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      Better Living Thru Better Living

Tue, 27 Mar 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

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