Food and Behaviour Research

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Omega-3 fatty acids in psychiatry

Mischoulon D, Freeman MP. (2013) Psychiatr Clin North Am. 36(1) 15-23. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2012.12.002. 

Web URL: View this and related abstracts via PubMed here.


Over the past 2 decades, omega-3 fatty acids (n-3FAs) have been increasingly used and studied in the United States and worldwide for various medical and psychiatric indications. Numerous published clinical trials have examined applications of different n-3FA preparations, primarily in mood disorders but also in psychotic disorders, attention-deficit disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and personality disorders.

Focusing on clinical issues, this article reviews the impact of n-3FAs on these conditions and covers the relevant research, side effects, dosage guidelines, and drug interactions; clinicians should thus be able to better advise patients who are already taking n-3FAs or are interested in trying them.


This review provides an excellent summary of research to date into the use of (long-chain) omega-3 fatty acids for a range of psychiatric disorders. It is aimed primarily at clinicians, but is also likely to be of use to may parents, carers and other individuals interested in complementary treatments.