The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    The omega-6 to -3 ratio and survival in hemodialysis patients

    Mortality in long-term hemodialysis patients is mostly attributed to cardiovascular complications, and may be related to chronic inflammation.

    Researchers at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, in Torrance, California, hypothesized that the anti-inflammatory benefits of higher dietary intake of omega-3 compared with omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids might lower inflammatory processes and decrease the risk of death.

    First, the details.

    • 145 adult hemodialysis patients participated in the study.
    • Their intake of dietary omega-3 and the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 using a 3-day food record were monitored.
    • The 1-year change in serum C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and 6-year survival were recorded.
      • CRP is produced by the liver, and the level of CRP rises when there is inflammation throughout the body.

    And, the results.

    • Each 1-unit higher ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 intake was associated with a significant 0.55-mg/L increase in serum CRP levels.
    • However, the risk of death did not change significantly.

    The bottom line?

    The authors think that using the “3-day food record may underestimate actual dietary fat intake at an individual level.” It might explain the lack of significance in the mortality rate.

    They concluded, “Higher dietary omega-6 to omega-3 ratio appears to be associated with both worsening inflammation over time and a [nonstatistically significant] trend toward higher death risk in hemodialysis patients.”

    6/13/11 21:40 JR

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