First Time User? Sign Up Now
First Time User? Enroll now.
Home > Health Library > Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Bipolar Disorder
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in marine or plant sources, such as fish oil and flaxseed oil. A few studies suggest that adding omega-3 fatty acids to medicine (such as lithium) can help reduce the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder in some people. Omega-3 fatty acids don't seem to have an effect on the manic symptoms of bipolar disorder. And omega-3 fatty acids alone are not a good treatment for bipolar disorder. They are not a replacement for medicine or other therapy used to treat bipolar disorder.footnote 1, footnote 2
There are few, if any, negative side effects from omega-3 fatty acids. Loose stools are reported most often. Researchers think that omega-3 fatty acids help support the membranes of brain cells. This makes it easier for the cells to send signals to one another, which may make depressive symptoms less likely.footnote 1
Montgomery P, Richardson AJ (2009). Omega-3 fatty acids for bipolar disorder. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (1).
Sarris J, et al. (2012). Omega-3 for bipolar disorder: Meta-analyses of use in mania and bipolar depression. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 73(1): 81–86.
Current as of: May 28, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Patrice Burgess, MD, FAAFP - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineChristine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health
Current as of:
May 28, 2019
Medical Review:Patrice Burgess, MD, FAAFP - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Christine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
UNC Medical Center
101 Manning Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
UNC Health Care Citrix
UNC Medical Center Intranet
Copyright 2019 UNC Health Care. All rights reserved.