Omega-3 in psychiatry

Boris Nemets, Chanoch Miodownik, Vladimir Lerner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids. They are essential to human health, but cannot be manufactured by the body. In recent years, researchers have demonstrated a growing interest in fatty acids and their beneficial influence on human health. Positive findings have multiplied, and more than 500 papers on this topic have been published during the last 70 years. Omega-3 fatty acids are built in to the cell membrane, affecting the function of neurotransmitter receptors. A relationship appears to exist between omega-3 fatty acids and central nervous system (CNS) neurotransmitters. It has been shown that oil diets may have mood-stabilizing effects by reducing the generation of second messengers coming from phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylcholine in cell membranes. It was suggested that major depression is associated with elevated plasma concentrations of the 2-series prostaglandins (PGE2). Other suggested actions of omega-3 fatty acids include reduction in proinflammatory cytokines, direct inhibition of PKC activity and alteration in serotonergic neurotransmission. Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to stimulate neurotrophic factor, increasing synaptic plasticity, improving neurotransmission, and to have antidepressant and neuroprotective properties.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Hope for Mental Disturbances
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781614703624
ISBN (Print)9781606926918
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Health Professions


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