Nutraceutical: a substance that is legally a nutrient, but that is also used for other medical purposes (to fight an ailment). Here’s some history and greater explanation.

Many supplements used to fight bipolar disorder are nutraceuticals. That’s good! Because usually, if they aren’t effective medicines, they at least provide some nutrition.

Many participants in the below studies were also on a pharmaceutical medication.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
    • A four-month, well conducted study in 2012 did not find omega-3 fatty acids significantly effective against bipolar disorder
    • A meta-analysis with stringent criteria, including five separate studies, found it significantly useful as an adjunct to episodes of bipolar depression, but only a small and insignificant positive effect for bipolar mania
    • For bipolar depression, conflicting evidence, but overall positive
    • As above, another study determined mixed, but overall positive efficacy of omega-3’s against bipolar depression
  • One omega-3 (α-LNA)
  • Two omega-3’s: eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
    • A 15-study meta-analysis with almost 1,000 participants found that if If EPA exceeded 60% of the combination, it was “effective against primary depression”

Eat fish!

Sources: Ben Komor, Biopsychology, Abnormal Psychology,