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Fish Oil Might Lower Frequency of Epileptic Seizures

Sep 09, 2014 09:10 AM EDT
Fish Oil Fatty Acid Omega 3
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil tablets.
(Photo : via Flickr / zpj)

Fish oil may protect against epileptic seizures, a new study suggests.

According to researchers, omega-3 fatty acid in fish oil can help epilepsy patients lower seizure risk, especially in cases where regular treatment is no longer working. The team also says that the fatty acids cross over from bloodstream to the heart and stabilize the heart rhythm.

Fish oil supplements are considered to be effective in improving memory and even reducing decline of cognitive abilities in older people. However, there is considerable doubt over the efficacy of these supplements. The research has even shown that the fatty acids in the pills can cross the blood-brain barrier and reduce excitability of the neurons.

The study included Twenty four people, who were no longer responding to drug treatment for the condition.

The researchers put these patients on different treatments. Each participant was given three separate treatment, each lasting for ten weeks.

For example, one group got three capsules of fish oil pills equivalent to 1080 mg omega-3 fatty acids every day wlong with three capsules of corn oil (placebo). Another group got six pills or 2160 mg every day of the fatty acid and 3 capsules of corn oil twice a day.

Study results showed that patients who got lower doses of the fish oil had on an average 12 seizures a month compared to 17 seen in people who were on high-doses of the pills. In fact, two people in the low-dose group were completely seizure-free for ten weeks, while none of the participants in other groups for seizure-free during the study period.

"Low dose fish oil is a safe and low cost intervention that may reduce seizures and improve cardiovascular health in people with epilepsy," the team wrote, according to a news release.

Researchers admit that larger trials are needed to confirm the study findings.

The study is published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

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