Background: Omega-3 Fatty acids may inhibit neuronal signal transduction pathways in a manner similar to that of lithium carbonate and valproate, 2 effective treatments for bipolar disorder.
The present study was performed to examine whether omega-3 fatty acids also exhibit mood-stabilizing properties in bipolar disorder.

Methods: A 4-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, comparing omega-3 fatty acids (9.6 g/d) vs placebo (olive oil), in addition to usual treatment, in 30 patients with bipolar disorder.

Results: A Kaplan-Meier survival analysis of the cohort found that the omega-3 fatty acid patient group had a significantly longer period of remission than the placebo group (P=.002; Mantel-Cox).
In addition, for nearly every other outcome measure, the omega-3 fatty acid group performed better than the placebo group.

Conclusion: Omega-3 Fatty acids were well tolerated and improved the short-term course of illness in this preliminary study of patients with bipolar disorder.