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Another Reason Salmon Will Save Your Brain Years From Now

Omega-3 fatty acids can prevent at-risk people from suffering mental illness.

When we last spoke about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, it was centered on the five reasons you should be taking fish oil. How, even though the supplements won’t necessarily prevent a heart attack, they will boost your memory, improve the quality of your skin, keep your eyes healthy, promote lean muscle growth, and even reduce the impact of air pollution on your heart. Now, new research published in the journal Nature Communications has found omega-3s can prevent the onset of psychotic disorders—years after being consumed. 

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Researchers found young people at “ultra-high risk”—as determined by psychotic symptoms like delusions, hallucinations, and disturbances, genetic risk factors, and more (click here for more info)—for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders were less likely to suffer from the conditions within seven years (that's how long the study lasted) after taking omega-3 supplements for 12 weeks. More specifically, only 10 percent of the omega-3 group of volunteers developed psychosis, compared to 40 percent of volunteers in the placebo group within that timeframe. 

Reduced levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids—such as omega-3 and omega-6—in brain cell membranes has been implicated in a number of mental health conditions like schizophrenia, the researchers say, so to have a non-prescription supplement that is also found in natural foods like salmon and walnuts is pretty awesome. Stay tuned for further follow-up studies. 

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