Information for participants

Irish Omega 3 Study

Irish Omega 3 Study

Study Aim
To investigate whether Omega-3 fatty acid food supplements can reduce the risk of severe mental illness.

What is the purpose of the Irish Omega-3 study?
Fish oils contain substances called Omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart. There is some evidence that they may also be good at stopping some people from developing severe mental illness. However, there is not enough research to prove that this is true. We are doing a study where we compare people who take these fish oil substances with people who do not. This is to see if the substances help reduce the risk of people becoming mentally ill.

Is taking Omega-3 safe?
Omega-3 fatty acids are very safe, but they can cause some side-effects such as: fishy aftertaste, nausea or diarrhoea.

Why do you want me to take part?
As you have been referred to our service because of concerns about your mental health, you may be a person who could benefit from Omega-3 fatty acids. 

What does taking part in the study involve?
Taking part in the study would mean taking fish oil supplements, in the form of a juice flavoured drink, every day for twenty four weeks. Some of these supplements would contain Omega-3 fatty acids and some would not. At the end of the study we would compare how people did with or without the Omega-3 fatty acids.

The study would involve an interview and questionnaires, which could take a couple of hours. We would then meet you again at 6 weeks and 12 weeks. We would meet you again at 6 months and at 12 months.

We would also wish to take a blood sample, in a bottle that contains between 6 and 7 tablespoons of blood, at the beginning of the study and 12 weeks later. We would like to keep the blood sample after the trial so we can check for any differences in Omega-3 fatty acids or in similar substances.

What will you do with my information and blood samples?
The information we receive from you and your blood results will be encoded and anonymised so that it is kept confidential, and added to information we receive from other people.

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