Taking fish oil capsules for just three months can stave off psychosis for years, a small study suggests. If confirmed in larger studies, the results suggest that the common dietary supplement may actually prevent schizophrenia.
Such enduring benefits would be extraordinary, if correct, says psychiatrist Jeffrey Lieberman of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. “I don’t want to sound like a cynic or a skeptic, but it’s almost too good to be true.” Larger studies must confirm the results, he says. “I still want to see replication before I’m ready to say we have a new standard of care.”
In 2010, Paul Amminger of the University of Melbourne in Australia and colleagues reported a tantalizing result with fish oil: For a small group of young people at high risk of developing schizophrenia, three months of taking 1.2 grams a