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Omega 3 Aggression Depression
EPA reduces aggression and depression...
Women with moderately severe borderline personality disorder (BPD) may become less aggressive and less depressed by taking supplemental eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
While EPA has been shown to be an effective adjunctive treatment for other mood disorders, this is the first study to suggest it may also be useful in the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder.
Borderline personality disorder is a psychiatric condition that affects up to 2% of the American population. More than 75% of those diagnosed with BPD are women. People with BPD are often involved in unstable or intense interpersonal relationships and have low self-esteem.
They may also demonstrate signs of impulsive behaviour (such as excessive spending, drug abuse or reckless driving) or outbursts of anger, and they frequently suffer from anxiety or depression. Improvement with antidepressants and mood stabilizers has been modest at best. Treatment with EPA may be equal to or more beneficial than drug therapy, with fewer adverse effects.
In the new study, 30 women with moderately severe BPD between the ages of 18 and 40 received 500 mg twice a day of EPA or a similar looking placebo for eight weeks.
Two scales assessing aggression and depression were administered
by a psychiatrist initially and then weekly or biweekly until the study was
The women taking EPA had a significant decrease in aggression
and less severe depression. Compared with the placebo group, average aggression
and depression scores decreased in the EPA treatment group by 44% and 22%, respectively.
The EPA capsules were well tolerated by each of the participants in the treatment
The role of EPA as a mood-stabilizing agent requires further investigation, but the results of this pilot study are promising. It should be noted that a purified EPA product, called ethyl-eicosapentaenoic acid (E-EPA), was used in this study.
While eating fatty fish or taking fish-oil supplements may mimic some of the effects of E-EPA, one cannot automatically assume that fish oil would be as effective as the purified preparation.
Zanarini MC, Frankenburg FR. (2003). omega-3 Fatty acid treatment
of women with borderline personality disorder: a double-blind, placebo-controlled
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