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I have heard a lot about fish oil helping bipolar. But I'm not a believer in supplements. I just don't think they do anything. So what I want to know is who here takes fish oil supplements and why. Please be specific. How did you feel before taking them versus after taking them? On a scale of 1 to 10, how much of a difference did they really make? also, please focus on how it affected your bipolar, not your general health.

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I tried fish oil. I took 2,000 milligrams of EPA every day for a month. I noticed no effect whatsoever, either when I started them, or when I stopped them. Pretty much a 0/10. I guess I could have tried for longer though.

I'm currently trying NAC - don't know yet if it's going to treat me any better.

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I think 6,000 mgs a day is the recomended dose. It's what I take. I think it makes me a bit less fuzzy but I can't tell for sure. It's known to help prevent heart disease which is reason enough for me to keep taking it given that I'm rather overweight.

Topic moved to supplements forum.

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I've been taking about 4000 mg a day for the last 6 months or so. I haven't noticed any perceptible changes. I've read about how good they are for your body, so I still take them.

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I am currently on 6000mg but am working my way up to 9000mg which is what the pdoc wants me on. I love supplements from Usana, they are FDA approved so have in them what they say. I haven't noticed to much but i was told its a long term thing and wont seem much improvement until at least 6 months. All my fish oil is mercury free so I wont get poisoned by mercury. I notice the benefits on the Usana multivitamin and minerals I hardly ever get cold or flu, and nails grow now. :)

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I think 6,000 mgs a day is the recomended dose. It's what I take. I think it makes me a bit less fuzzy but I can't tell for sure. It's known to help prevent heart disease which is reason enough for me to keep taking it given that I'm rather overweight.

Topic moved to supplements forum.

According to PsychEducation, a lot of the studies have been done with 1,000-2,000 mg EPA, which is not the same as 1,000-2,000 mg fish oil. http://www.psycheducation.org/depression/meds/Omega-3.htm

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I am currently on 6000mg but am working my way up to 9000mg which is what the pdoc wants me on. I love supplements from Usana, they are FDA approved so have in them what they say. I haven't noticed to much but i was told its a long term thing and wont seem much improvement until at least 6 months. All my fish oil is mercury free so I wont get poisoned by mercury. I notice the benefits on the Usana multivitamin and minerals I hardly ever get cold or flu, and nails grow now. :)

Um...how can it be FDA approved? The FDA has no jurisdiction over supplements. Just wondering.

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I take 1500 epa, which is a lot. I have one brand that I like which has small caps which are easy to swallow, and not fishy. If I switch to a different brand I always figure my dose in epa, not mgs.

I have taken this dose for many years. I believe it helps keep my bipolar stable. When I ran out, two years ago, and was to lazy to drive across town and buy some,......well I destablized and started to go into an episode. It was very noticable to my husband and he actually got us up early to drive across town to a health food store which opened at 9 am sunday morning.

The benefits of fish oil for bipolar is not an old wives tale! The original research was done at Harvard for goodness sake by Dr. Andrew Stoll. My impression is that it helps a lot of people, but not everyone.

You need to just try it....but make sure you try a high enough dose. It is pointless if you take too little, in my opinion.

I also think it has helped with my cholesterol.

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I took fish oil supplements for a year (at therapeutic levels). It didn't seem to do much, if anything, so I stopped. Pretty much the same as tryp's experience, except longer.

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Guest Vapourware

I've tried fish oil as well. I can't remember how much I took, though. Anyways, I didn't really notice much in the difference to my moods, although my hair was nicer.

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When you're talking about dose, don't forget to distinguish between the dose of "EPA" and the dose of "Fish oil". Fish oil contains EPA, but it contains a lot of other stuff as well. Pure EPA dose is what you're looking for for mood effects, according to what I've read, though some studies do dose in fish oil as a whole.

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I'm interested to hear the replies to this. My psychiatrist just told me that I should be taking them, so I started within the past week. Haven't noticed a difference yet, but I was already stable and have been for a couple of weeks. I got the capsule with Omega 3, 6 and 9 together. Thought if one omega was good, the other two are just bonuses, right? lol

Edited to add - are we talking about the same things? My doctor said Omega 3's specifically.....which I know is found in fish. Maybe I'm talking out my ass here........

Edited by SugarBooger

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Omega 3 is what is recommended for helping brain and cardiovascular functions. The other two are much easier to get in the average diet with Omega-9 being the most abundant in animal fats and vegetable oils. The fatty acids that make up Omega 3's are Alpha-Linolenic Acid (or ALA, and it is considered an essential fatty acid since our bodies only obtain it through our diets), Eicosapentaenoic Acid (or EPA, which can be metabolized in the body from ALA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (or DHA, which can also be metabolized from ALA).

For our purposes, ideal Omega-3 supplementation has a high EPA to DHA ratio. My supplement has 500mg EPA to 250mg DHA with another 250mg being generic fish oil concentrate. I take two a day, so getting 1000mg EPA, 500mg DHA, and 500mg whatever is in the random fish oil concentrate, of which, according to the nutrition facts, 200mg is Omega-9 and saturated fats. The other 300mg are mystery fatty acids though my supplement company could be stretching the truth or bullshitting about all of the above.

Mood-wise I think I have noticed an improvement, but I'm not taking the mega doses of EPA that one would want specifically for addressing mood and other cognitive issues. The improvement didn't happen quickly either, I've been supplementing for a good eight months at least and the benefits have only been a shroud at points. YMMV. I take it more for general health at this point, since Omega-3 is the hardest to obtain in an average diet but it is more important than the 6's and 9's.

Edited by Cuttlefish

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I got the capsule with Omega 3, 6 and 9 together. Thought if one omega was good, the other two are just bonuses, right? lol

Actually, although all this stuff isn't understood all that well yet, there are theories that the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 is important, and that our diet provides far too much omega 6 compared to omega 3. Here's a review paper abstract on that: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909 . So supplementing both at the same time may actually be kind of counter-productive. I don't know if there's any research on this as far as MI is concerned, but there's definitely research on this with regard to other illnesses.

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Just looked at my container. I get 1920 mg of EPA and i get 1380mg of DHA when i talk my 6 capsules a day. Hmmmm i guess it could be why i am stable for the first time in 9/10 months, and I've been stable for 4/5 weeks this time, wow that just popped into my head.

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When you're talking about dose, don't forget to distinguish between the dose of "EPA" and the dose of "Fish oil". Fish oil contains EPA, but it contains a lot of other stuff as well. Pure EPA dose is what you're looking for for mood effects, according to what I've read, though some studies do dose in fish oil as a whole.

DMA is important too.

Basically, the typical western diet doesn't contain nearly enough of any of the Omega-3 EFAs. Up until the mid 20th century human beings got a lot more of it because the animals that provided our meat, eggs, and dairy ate green stuff and condensed the EFAs in the meat, eggs, and dairy products we consumed. Now chickens, cows, hogs, etc all eat grains, bone meal, and all kinds of other stuff that they never would have consumed in the wild, effectively removing the EFAs from the food chain.

The side effects of this are largely unknown at this point, but it is known that our brains and nervous systems require Omega-3 and Omega-6 EFAs to function properly.

If we took all the vitamin-C out of the food chain our teeth would fall out due to scurvy, our immune systems would turn go to shit, and all kinds of other good stuff. We don't know yet what the effect of removing EFAs from the food chain is exactly, but I think it's fair to assume that it can't be a good thing.

Just taking EPA because it's the EFA that's been studied the most is one way to approach things. The other is to try and return our diets to what we've been consuming for the last 4000 years and assuming it's likely in our best interests.

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