Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

Omega-3, omega-6, bipolar disorder.

Lithium has been used to treat bipolar disorder for decades. Dr Mireille Basselin wanted to find out exactly what it was doing in the brain.

The work involved studying brain chemistry in rats, with some fairly complex results.

In simple terms, lithium worked by reducing products of arachidonic acid, a polyunsaturated omega-6 acid, and increasing products of omega-3 acid DHA. The levels of arachidonic acid and DHA didn’t change, but the products coming from them did.

Arachidonic acid products are pro-inflammation, DHA products reduce inflammation, and lithium works on both of these in the ‘right’ direction.

Basselin’s work was not designed to find out what happens if you simply increase dietary omega-3 and cut omega-6 in biploar disorder, but it raises an intriguing question in the ongoing debate as to whether there is a correct ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in our diet.


May 22, 2010 - Posted by | Brain, Depression, Diet, Mireille Basselin, Omega-3, Omega-6

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