The omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) have shown benefit in numerous mood disorders. Omega-3 fatty acids, when added to an existing psychopharmacological maintenance treatment for bipolar disorder, can have beneficial effects on depressive symptoms. In a 12-week, double-blind study, individuals with bipolar depression were supplemented with 1 g per day or 2 g per day of EPA or a placebo. Significant improvement was seen with EPA treatment compared with a placebo, according to the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale.36 In a small open-label study, 1.5-2 g per day of the omega-3 fatty acid EPA was given to patients with bipolar depression. The results showed that 8 of the 10 patients who completed at least one month of follow-up achieved a 50% or greater reduction in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores within one month of supplementation.37
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