Dietary intake of fish, omega-3, omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin D and the prevalence of psychotic-like symptoms in a cohort of 33 000 women from the general population
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2010

Background: Low intake of fish, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and vitamin D deficiency has been suggested to play a role in the development of schizophrenia. Our aim was to evaluate the association between the intake of different fish species, PUFA and vitamin D and the prevalence of psychotic-like symptoms in a population-based study among Swedish women. Methods: Dietary intake was estimated using a food frequency questionnaire among 33 623 women aged 30-49 years at enrolment (1991/92). Information on psychotic- like symptoms was derived from a follow-up questionnaire in the years 2002/03. Participants were classified into three predefined levels: low, middle and high frequency of symptoms. The association between diet and psychotic- like symptoms was summarized in terms of relative risks (RR) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals and was evaluated by energy-adjusted multinomial logistic regression. Results: 18 411 women were classified as having a low level of psychotic- like symptoms, 14 395 as middle and 817 as having a high level. The risk of high level symptoms was 53% (95% CI, 30-69%) lower among women who ate fish 3-4 times per week compared to women who never ate fish. The risk was also lower for women with a high intake of omega-3 and omega-6 PUFA compared to women with a lower intake of these fatty acids. The effect was most pronounced for omega-6 PUFAs. The RR comparing the highest to the lowest quartile of omega-6 PUFAs intake was 0.78 (95% CI, 0.64-0.97). The associations were J-shaped with the strongest reduced risk for an intermediate intake of fish or PUFA. For fatty fish (herring/mackerel, salmon-type fish), the strongest inverse association was found for an intermediate intake (RR: 0.81, 95% CI, 0.66-0.98), whereas a high intake of fatty fish was associated with an increased risk of psychotic- like symptoms (RR: 1.90, 95% CI, 1.34-2.70). Women in the highest compared with the lowest quartile of vitamin D consumption experienced a 37% (95% CI, 22-50%) lower risk of psychotic- like symptoms. Conclusion: Our findings raise a possibility that adult women with a high intake of fish, omega-3 or omega-6 PUFA and vitamin D have a lower rate of psychotic- like symptoms.

community sample


food sources



d deficiency

plasma enterolactone



breast-cancer risk



M. Hedelin

Uppsala universitet

M. Lof

Karolinska Institutet

Marita Olsson

Göteborgs universitet

Chalmers, Matematiska vetenskaper, matematisk statistik

T. Lewander

Uppsala universitet

B. Nilsson

Uppsala universitet

C. M. Hultman

Uppsala universitet

Karolinska Institutet

E. Weiderpass

Karolinska Institutet

Universitetet i Tromso

Cancer Registry of Norway Institute of Population-Based Cancer Research

BMC Psychiatry

1471-244X (ISSN)

Vol. 10 38