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Ask the Experts

Question:

Are any studies being conducted to determine the effectiveness of Omega Fish Oil as a mood stabilizer? I understand a study never replicated and performed some six years ago found it was somewhat effective.How can a substance with no significant market prospects be given a decent hearing?

Answered by: Richard Brown

Although there may be studies being conducted to see if omega-3 fish oils could be mood stabilizers, we are not aware of any. Recent trials have focused on depression in pregnancy, post partum depression and bipolar depression (Freeman et al. Acta Neuropsychiatrica 2006; Freeman et al. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 2005; Frangou et al. Brit Journal Psychiatry 2005). For a review on fish oils and bipolar disorder, see Stoll et al. Prostaglandins, Leukotrins, Essential Fatty Acids, 1999.

Dr. Stoll or Dr. Marangell may be conducting further bipolar studies. Our experience is that nutraceuticals are easily overlooked by researchers.

Private donors or foundations may contribute seed money for pilot studies if some researchers are committed to doing the studies. Stay tuned for more exciting progress in this area.