HEALTH

Mothers-to-be who eat oily fish could protect their children from developing schizophrenia in later life, trial suggests

Eating oily fish while pregnant may protect children from developing schizophrenia when they grow older, new research suggests.

In trials on mice, scientists found mice deprived of omega-3 fatty acids in the womb displayed signs of the mental health disorder as adults.

The nutrient, abundant in salmon, mackerel and sardines, is already known to be good the brain – but the new study is the first to show a link to schizophrenia.

Japanese researchers also discovered similar effects for pregnant mice who had a lack of omega-6, found in mayonnaise, sunflower seeds and flaxseed oil.

Both nutrients change the way genes are expressed, a process called ‘epigenetics’, the scientists behind the landmark study believe.

They said the study provides ‘evidence’ of a potential new treatment that could revert the gene expression through giving patients the essential fatty acids. 

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