Benefits of fish oil

Omega 3 fatty acids are regarded as one of the only healthy forms of fat; more than that, they’re considered essential to human health because they benefit the body and mind in numerous ways, but cannot be made organically. Diets high in omega-3s have previously been linked to reduced symptoms of ADHD, lower levels of depression, anti-inflammation, and improved cardiovascular health. For this reason, many people around the world strive to consume a recommended amount of omega 3 fatty acids, which is commonly found in fatty fish, nuts, and fish oil supplements. However, new research has showed that there may be yet another benefit to making sure you get the right level of omega-3s: a study has suggested that the substance can help reduce the number of seizures in patients with epilepsy.

Previous research has suggested that omega-3s can help regulate heart rhythm and prevent heart attacks. Because epileptics have a higher risk of heart attacks than those without the condition, a team of scientists at UCLA’s Department of Neurology, led by Professor Christopher DeGiorgio, decided to see if high or low doses of fish oil had any impact on the cardiovascular health and frequency of seizures experienced by their patients. The team enrolled 24 patients who had stopped responding to their antiepileptic medication in the study, giving each patients either a low dose of fish oil supplements, a high dose of fish oil supplements, or placebo pills. Interestingly, the study found that the patients who followed the low dose regime had the fewest number of seizures over a 10-week period, with little discrepancy in the number of seizures among the high dose and placebo groups. Moreover, at least two patients in the low dosage group experienced no seizures at all during the 10-week period.

In an article published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, the team admitted that these new benefits of fish oil will require further testing to be confirmed. Any future studies will need to observe a larger test group over a longer period of time in order to verify that the lower dosage of fish oil supplements actually reduces the number of seizures. Additionally, the research team will likely need to focus on testing different amounts of fish oil: in the past study, 1,080 mg of the supplements reduced seizures by as much as 30%, but doses of 2,160 mg had no such effect. However, despite the lingering questions, the scientists seem confident that their research will be able to help epileptics in the future, especially patients who have stopped responding to antiepileptic medication and are have an increased risk of heart attack.

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