A study published in the Nature Communications journal emphasized that the psychiatric benefits of supplementing with Omega-3 can stretch for years after the last dose.
This is based on the results of a follow-up study conducted by the Medical University of Vienna and the University of Melbourne on young people extremely vulnerable to schizophrenia who were given a 12-week supplementation of Omega-3 a few years back.
A control group was also established composing of the same schizophrenia-prone individuals but were only administered with a placebo.
The Surprising Discovery
Seven years later, the researchers discovered that while there are participants in the Omega-3 group that eventually developed schizophrenia, they were surprised to find out it took a year or so longer for these people to get the illness compared to their counterparts that were in the placebo group.
The researchers pointed out that while this fatty acid has been seen as a potential cure for mental health issues like depression and anxiety for quite some time now, they didn’t expect that its effects would last for a long time and even keep schizophrenia at bay, as exhibited by the participants who went through a short-term supplementation with the fatty acid.
A Possible Clue to Omega-3's Power?
Although the scientists from the University of Melbourne and the Medical University of Vienna are still trying to put the pieces together on how Omega-3 was able to somehow prevent the development of schizophrenia in high-risk individuals, they highlight a previous study involving the deprivation of dietary fatty acids in adult rats that may help explain the whole thing.
The study showed that while their amount in the rat’s bodies plummeted, their dopamine levels steeply rose. This scenario was significantly similar to the dopamine buildup that took place in people who were highly prone to schizophrenia and similar mental health problems that is either brought on by genetic factors or environmental aspects.
Advice from the Experts
On a final note, the researchers who conducted the follow-up study stressed that Omega-3 didn’t cause any negative side effects whatsoever and can be taken by anyone who’s looking to not just boost their mental health but also protect themselves from psychiatric illnesses in the process.