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Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine recently released a study that finds omega-3 fatty acids may improve depression and help people overcome alcohol abuse, Science Daily reports.
When researchers gave mice with bipolar disorder the fatty acid DHA, one of the main active ingredients in fish oil, they found the mice’s behavior “normalized.” Bipolar symptoms, such as depression and stress-induced mania, were eliminated.
“The genes that are known targets of psychiatric medications were modulated and normalized by DHA,” said Dr. Alexander B. Niculescu, M.D., Ph.D. and lead author of the study, reported online in the journal Translational Psychiatry.
Researchers also found that DHA reduced the mice’s desire for alcohol, leading researchers to believe that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help both bipolar disorder and alcoholism similar to the way psychiatric drugs currently do—without all of the side effects.