Scientists from England report that omega-3 fatty acid supplements may help epileptics reduce seizure frequency and help attenuate inflammation.

“Animal studies and a preliminary clinical observation suggest that nutritional supplementation” with long chain omega-3 supplements “may be useful in the nonpharmacological treatment of patients with epilepsy,” neurologists from University College London noted.

“Omega-3 fatty acids increase seizure thresholds, and lower inflammatory mediators, which are increased in patients with epilepsy,” explained A.W.C. Yuen and colleagues. “In this first randomized, placebo-controlled parallel group trial of omega-3 fatty acids, supplementation with 1g of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 0.7g docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) daily, 57 patients completed a 12-week double-blind phase.”

“Seizure frequency was reduced over the first 6 weeks of treatment in the supplement group, but this effect was not sustained,” according to the report. “The supplementation produced a significant increase in EPA and DHA concentrations. Further studies are required to examine different omega-3 fatty acid preparations, different doses, longer treatment duration, and larger sample sizes,” the researchers concluded.

News RX, Dec 2, 2005