In this meta-analysis, researchers found that omega-3 supplementation may help promote relief from bipolar depression, while no such effect was found for attenuating mania in patients with bipolar disorder. Findings were taken from clinical trials over several databases, including randomized controlled studies 4 weeks or longer with a sample size > 10, conducted in English, with no age, gender or ethnic criteria using search terms “bipolar disorder OR bipolar depression OR bipolar mania OR mania OR hypomania OR cyclothymia with the search terms omega 3 OR essential fatty acids OR polyunsaturated fatty acids OR DHA OR EPA OR fish oil OR flax oil”. Data was extracted using a random-effects model. The synthesis of the data revealed a significant effect in favor of omega-3 for bipolar depression, but insignificant in relation to bipolar mania. Researchers also found that study sample sizes influenced the findings with smaller sample sizes providing larger effect s izes. The results suggest a strong basis for adjunctive use of omega-3 fatty acids in treating bipolar depression.
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