Cholesterol/LipidsKidney DiseaseOmega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acid effect on lipids in hemodialysis patients

Researchers at Laikon General Hospital, in Athens, Greece, looked for a response.

First, the details.

  • 25 chronic hemodialysis patients were randomly assigned to each treatment for 4 weeks.
    • Omega-3 fatty acids + alpha-tocopherol: 920 mg eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), 760 mg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and 8 mg alpha-tocopherol per day
    • Alpha-tocopherol supplement (100 mg/week resulting in 14.2 mg/day)
  • Medical history, anthropometric (body) measurements, and nutritional intake were recorded at the beginning and end of both treatments.
  • Blood and biochemical parameters, as well as C-reactive protein (levels rise in response to inflammation) were measured.
  • The researchers were not aware of the treatment given — single-blind.

And, the results.

  • There were no statistically significant differences between treatments.

The bottom line?

Allon Friedman, MD, a practicing nephrologist and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine, in Indianapolis, tells us, “Preliminary data suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may have clinical benefits.”

However, he continues, “The preponderance of published studies are characterized by suboptimal study design, small sample sizes, supraphysiologic omega-3 doses that may be difficult to consume for extended periods, little long-term follow-up, and a lack of confirmation of compliance. Not surprising, the 2005 National Kidney Foundation Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative Clinical Practice Guidelines for Cardiovascular Disease in Dialysis Patients recommend further research in this field.”

In this study, omega-3 fatty acids showed no benefits in these patients.

4/1/11 21:32 JR

Hi, I’m JR

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.