This study was initiated based on our previous work that found individuals with bipolar disorder who eat higher levels of polyunsaturated fats (found mostly in vegetable oils and fatty fish) report better psychiatric and physical clinical outcomes. Furthermore, we previously found that more polyunsaturated fatty acid intake associated with higher levels of gut bacteria that also associated with improved health measures.
The previous studies were all cross-sectional, meaning that while the associations we found were significant, we cannot say from these studies that eating more polyunsaturated fats causes better clinical outcomes. Therefore, this current study is designed to change the diet of individuals with bipolar disorder and controls and to determine if this change causes a beneficial effect on the bacterial population of the gut microbiome, and if any changes extend to improved clinical outcomes.
This study has received approval from IRBMED: HUM 00115335