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How does fish oil help with bipolar disorder?

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Some experts believe fish oil might play a role in brain function and behavior. While studies of omega-3 fatty acids for mood symptoms are not conclusive, some experts believe that they may be helpful in some people with bipolar disorder, particularly if they have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease or high triglycerides. Some research suggests that getting more omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil is linked to greater volume in areas of the brain. In particular, these areas are related to mood and behavior. In one study of 75 patients, one of the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids was decreasing depression in bipolar disorder. Still, the overall evidence for benefit of fish oil in bipolar disorder is inconsistent. More studies are needed before fish oil can be recommended as a proven treatment for bipolar disorder.

If you're a vegetarian or vegan looking for possible benefits of fish oil, go with nuts. Walnuts, flaxseed, and canola oil contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is converted to omega-3 fatty acid in the body.

SOURCES:

American Psychiatric Association: "Treatment of Patients with Bipolar Disorder."

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: "What You Need to Know About Dietary Supplements."

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: "Depression and Other Illnesses."

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on June 11, 2019

SOURCES:

American Psychiatric Association: "Treatment of Patients with Bipolar Disorder."

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: "What You Need to Know About Dietary Supplements."

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: "Depression and Other Illnesses."

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on June 11, 2019

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What are some dietary recommendations for treating bipolar disorder?

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