Schizophrenia Prevented By Fish Oil

A new study in the Archives of General Psychiatry, summarized in the Wall Street Journal:

Researchers in the new study identified 81 people, ages 13 to 25, with warning signs of psychosis, including sleeping much more or less than usual, growing suspicious of others, believing someone is putting thoughts in their head or believing they have magical powers. Forty-one were randomly assigned to take four fish oil pills a day for three months. The other patients took dummy pills.

After a year of monitoring, 2 of the 41 patients in the fish oil group, or about 5%, had become psychotic, or completely out of touch with reality. In the placebo group, 11 of 40 became psychotic, about 28%.

The study is impressive not only because it uses ordinary food (fish oil) rather than  dangerous drugs (such as Prozac) but also because it studies prevention. Just as the ketogenic diet suggests a widespread animal-fat deficiency, so this study suggests a widespread omega-3 deficiency, which won’t surprise any reader of this blog. Completing the picture — I believe most Americans eat far too little animal fat, omega-3, and fermented food — baker’s yeast is being studied as a cure for cancer.

Thanks to Oskar Pearson and Chris.

10 Responses to “Schizophrenia Prevented By Fish Oil”

  1. Adam Says:

    *And here I thought that Vitamin D was the superhero of the week…
    http://fwd4.me/ELd

    *Perhaps they are the new dynamic duo…NIH wants to find out.
    http://www.vitalstudy.org/

  2. Andrew Morrison Says:

    A few minutes ago I was sent to a yeast-cancer article by another blog. My mind immediately jumped to kombucha and then to Seth Roberts. Overcome by curiosity, I clicked over here just to see if you had beaten me to the scoop and to seeing the connection. I laughed to see that you had. I’m proud to sport you on my favorites list.

  3. Fran Says:

    Hello,
    I have been following your blog for some months now…and have experienced a marked improvement with gum inflammation while using Flaxseed Oil. When I saw the article on Brewers Yeast, I did some googling that brought me to the Sloan Kettering/Integrative Medicine/Herb site and while I couldn’t find Brewer’s Yeast info, I did take a look at Flaxseed Oil. http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/69220.cfm I was diagnosed with ER+ breast cancer in 2006 and darn– according to SKCC, flaxseed has phytoestrogenic effects and should be used with caution by ER+ individuals. Do you think Fish Oil is as effective for inflammation? I have tried searching your blog for a comparison of the two. I wonder if there is a comparable “dose” of Fish Oil to the very effective 2 TBS of Flaxseed Oil? Thanks for your help.

  4. seth Says:

    yes, I suspect that fish oil reduces gum inflammation just as flaxseed oil does. But I haven’t tested this.

  5. 1 Says:

    seth,

    how come you think psychiatric drugs are dangerous?

  6. Alex Chernavsky Says:

    Newsweek magazine has a cover story this week about how antidepressants are nothing but glorified placebos:

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/232781

    Although they work no better than placebo at alleviating depression, they do have adverse physiological effects on the brain.

    Here is an excellent article about the dangerous effects of psychotropic drugs:

    http://psychrights.org/articles/EHPPPsychDrugEpidemic%28Whitaker%29.pdf

    (For the record, I am not a Scientologist.)

  7. seth Says:

    I believe psychiatric drugs are dangerous because there are many examples of them causing harm. An early example is tardive dykinesia. Prozac causes suicidal thinking. Lithium causes weight gain.

  8. Kudzu Bob Says:

    I am surprised that the notion of using baker’s yeast to fight cancer is being treated as new idea. My layman’s understanding is that for more decades than most of the readers of this blog have been alive, beta glucan, derived from the cell wall of baker’s yeast, has been studied for its apparent ability to boost immunity.

    I do not claim to know how effective beta glucan is for such a purpose, but I do gather that this substance is also present in a number of medicinal mushrooms, maitake among them.

    Also, health food stores have sold beta glucan pills and mushroom extracts for many years, although some brands are reportedly of much higher quality than others.

  9. J Says:

    Hello seth. I was wondering if you can provide some suggestions regarding Omega 3 Fish oil pills? I have been delusional for years now but no hallucinations. I have not been diagnosed yet. Should I start consuming this natural supplement? I really don’t want to get on anti-psychotic drugs as you too have claimed of them to have severe side-effects. Thank you.

  10. seth Says:

    Sorry, I can’t, I haven’t used fish oil pills. I get my omega-3 from flaxseed oil. I recommend Spectrum and Barlean’s.