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Low-dose fish oil regimen may reduce seizures!

Low-dose fish oil regimen may reduce seizures!

fish_oil_shutterstock_pA new study completed by UCLA reports that fish oil could help patients who struggle with epileptic seizures.  A randomized controlled study reported that low doses of omega-3 fatty acids decrease the frequency of seizures. (1)

Participants of the study took three fish oil capsules per day at 1080 mg each dose.  Participants found a significant reduction in the incident of seizures.  Previous studies using high doses of omega-3 fatty acids found no significant reduction in seizures.  Sometimes less really is more!  The new results surprised researchers. They found that omega-3 fatty acids show the ability to cross into the central nervous system and block calcium and sodium channels within nerve cells.  This prevents the repetitive firing of cells that cause seizures. (1)

Christopher DeGiorgio, professor of neurology at UCLA, reported that patients with epilepsy have a higher risk of sudden death from heart disease and fish oil may reduce this risk and protect against heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids have the ability to cross through the bloodstream into heart cells and stabilize the heart rhythm, protect against heart attacks and myocardial infarction. (1)

“The American Heart Association has issued a guideline indicating that around 1080 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per day, equivalent to 3 fish oil capsules, is effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, and fish oil is commonly administered to patients who have prior myocardial infarctions, irregular heartbeats, and very high triglyceride levels,” DeGiorgio said. “So I thought that since 1000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids is effective for heart disease, we should evaluate it and a higher dose to see which, if any, was effective for epilepsy seizure.” (1)

Low-dose fish oil decreased seizures by 33.6%, while two patients report being seizure free!

The study involved 24 participants diagnosed with epilepsy who received no benefits from traditional treatment. Each participant received three 10-week treatments that were spaced 6 weeks apart. (2,3)

Patients taking the low-dose fish oil saw a 33.6% decrease in seizures, compared to the placebo group.  Two patients on the low dose fish oil reported being completely seizure-free during the 10-week treatment sessions.  The high dose fish oil produced no significant findings.  Those taking the low dose fish oil also noticed a small drop in blood pressure, whereas the participants who consumed high doses of fish oil noticed a small increase in blood pressure. (1)

“We don’t completely understand why low dose works and higher doses do not, but there is evidence from animal studies that high doses are counterproductive. The response to fish oil at low dose for both seizures and depression has substantial implications for use, given the common propensity for individuals to self-dose with a ‘…a little helps, a lot should help much more’ thought process,” DeGiorgio said. (1)

Source: Raw Food World

Sources for this article include:

(1) newsroom.ucla.edu
(2) www.epilepsyresearch.org.uk
(3) www.empr.com

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