Efficacy of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Improvement of Bipolar Symptoms: A Systematic Review

Teresa Turnbull, Mary Cullen-Drill, Arlene Smaldone

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this review was to examine the current level of evidence regarding the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in improving bipolar disorder symptoms. Of 99 articles meeting initial search criteria, 5 randomized control trials and 2 quasi-experimental studies were selected for review. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation was effective in 4 of 7 studies. Those using an omega-3 combination of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexanoic acid demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in bipolar symptoms, whereas those using a single constituent did not. Dosage variations did not demonstrate statistically significant differences. Due to its benign side effect profile and some evidence supporting its usefulness in bipolar illness, omega-3 may be a helpful adjunct in treatment of selected patients. Future studies are needed to conclusively confirm the efficacy of omega-3s in bipolar disorder, uncovering a new well-tolerated treatment option.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-311
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of psychiatric nursing
Volume22
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health

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