What causes bipolar disorder? No one really seems to know. Genetics definitely plays a role—up to 25% of those diagnosed with bipolar disorder have a first-degree relative who suffers from the condition. When two immediate family members have bipolar disorder, the risk doubles to 50%.

Diet and nutrition have long been thought to be factors in the development of many mental illnesses. Vegans, for example, suffer from mental illness and cognitive dysfunction at significantly higher rates than the rest of the population. New research shows that a deficiency of one fatty acid is correlated with an increased risk of bipolar disorder. Over 14,000 people in Europe were assessed for levels of arachidonic acid. Higher levels were found to correlate with a lower risk for bipolar disorder.

Arachidonic acid is found in highest concentration in chicken, fish, eggs, and milk. The mechanism of action involved in its role in decreasing the risk of bipolar disorder is unknown but may be related to an anti-inflammatory effect common in most fatty acids, especially omega-three fatty acids. Fatty acids provide tremendous health benefits, including cardiovascular risk reduction and improved cognitive performance, along with neuro-protective effects such as reduced risk of early dementia.

The best way to increase one's arachidonic acid levels—and fatty acid levels in general—is to consistently eat high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and milk. If, for whatever reason, these are lacking in your diet, your second-best option is to use high-quality supplements. I have recommended several supplement plans to patients that include omega-three fatty acids, including my anti-inflammatory supplement plan.

Below is a link to my inflammation supplement plan I provide my patients. I am now sharing it with my Dissident MD subscribers. To access the plan, you must first create a free patient account at Fullscript by entering your name and email address: Dr. Mark McDonald’s Fullscript dispensary.Watch a one-minute video on how to create an account below.

Supplements on a wooden spoon
Supplement plan