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Another benefit of omega-3s: A better treatment for epileptic seizures

Fish oil (n-3 fatty acids) in drug resistant epilepsy: a randomized placebo-controlled crossover study.

Study under review: Fish oil (n-3 fatty acids) in drug resistant epilepsy: a randomized placebo-controlled crossover study

Introduction

Omega-3 fatty acids, or n-3 fatty acids, are popular supplements due to a long list of potential health benefits. The traditional western diet is high in omega-6 fatty acids, primarily from vegetable oils and shortenings, and low in omega-3 fatty acids, so fish oil supplements are often used to attain adequate omega-3 fatty acid intake levels. One study[1] estimated that the average American consumes about 22 grams of omega-6 fatty acids, but only 230 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids a day. Common dietary sources of omega-3s are fatty fish like salmon, certain vegetable oils, flaxseed, and fortified foods. Each contains different types of omega-3 fatty acids, which influences the extent of their health benefits.

Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, usually in the form of fish oil, is associated with several health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health[2] and a reduction in minor to moderate depression symptoms[3]. Several trials have also investigated the effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on epilepsy, with mixed results. This study aimed to overcome some of the limitations of previous trials.

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Other Articles in Issue #01 (November 2014)