Study Indicates Omega 3 Fatty Acids No Beneficial Effects On MS

With MS being quite a puzzling disease with out a cure yet in sight, people have considered other supposed treatments that help minimize the symptoms of the disease. One of the treatments that people with MS usually consider is taking omega 3 fatty acid supplements. But a recent study showed that it might not actually have any effect on the said disease.

Many people suffering from MS have tried omega 3 fatty acid supplements for their condition with the belief that the essential fatty acids are known to have anti-inflammatory and neuro-protective properties which might prove beneficial for a disease like multiple sclerosis. But a new clinical trial that was first described in JAMA’s Archives of Neurology indicates that omega 3 fatty acids may not have any beneficial effects for patients with relapsing-remitting MS.

A double blind placebo controlled trial, a team of researchers from the Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway, headed by Oivind Torkildsen, MD, PhD, tried to assess if whether omega 3 fatty acids used as a sole therapy or in combination with subcutaneous interferon beta-1a treatment can reduce disease activity in 92 patients with MS.

In the said trial, the researchers gave 46 patients with omega 3 fatty acids composed of 1350 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid and 850 mg of docosahexaenoic acid daily. The other 46 patients were given a placebo. After a period of six months, all of the patients were given interferon beta-1 treatments three times weekly for a period of another 18 months. In order to measure disease activity, the researchers used MRI scans to determine the number of new T1- weighted gadolinium-enhancing lesions in the brain.

The researchers declared on their resulting report, “The results from this study did not show any beneficial effects of ω-3 [omega-3] fatty acid supplementation on disease activity in multiple sclerosis as a monotherapy or in combination with interferon beta.”

The results of the recent study were contrary to two other previous studies that reported on the positive effects omega 3 fatty acids on MS. The researchers indicated that the omega 3 fatty acids group developed, on average, three new T1-weighted gadolinium-enhancing lesions during the first six months as compared to two in the placebo group. Yet there was no substantial difference between the two groups with regards to the first six moths of treatment or after 24 months. There was also no difference seen in either fatigue or quality of life scores between the two groups.

Source: Medical News Today

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