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Table 2 Double blind placebo-controlled trials of omega-3 fatty acids upon in anxiety disorders.

From: Omega-3 fatty acids as treatments for mental illness: which disorder and which fatty acid?

Ref Jadad score Disorder Meds Age Gen Omega-3 fatty acid Prep type Duration N Outcome measure Average baseline score Δ Statistical significance vs. placebo
37 4 OCD 100% 34 73% 2 g/day EPA Ethyl EPA 6 weeks 11 YBOCS 26 -0.9 No
           HDRS 11 NS No
           HARS 14 NS No
41 4 SUA 42% 51 0% 450 mg/day EPA
100 mg/day DHA
Crude mixture 3 months 24 POMS-T 4.3 -2.9 Yes
  1. OCD and SUA are obsessive compulsive disorder and substance use associated anxiety respectively. Δ refers to the change from baseline symptom scores for the omega-3 fatty acid group minus change from baseline scores for the placebo group. Jadad design quality scores can range from 0 to 5 with 5 being best. The symptom scales used are the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS), Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS) and the tension subscale of the Profile of Mood Scale (POMS-T). Zero is best for all scales hence a negative Δ value indicates an improvement over placebo. The average baseline score is the average of the omega-3 and placebo group scores at the start of the trial. Gen (gender) refers to the % of female participants in the trial. Meds refers to the percentage of trial participant who were in receipt of conventional medications for anxiety disorders. Prep. type describes whether a crude oil mixture or a purified fatty acid was used. NS – not stated.