Omega-3 shows no benefit for multiple sclerosis, study finds

May 3, 2012

The supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids has no benefit in treating multiple sclerosis, according to a clinical trial that appeared in the JAMA's Archives of Neurology. However, researchers acknowledged the randomized controlled trial was underpowered.

The supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids has no benefit in treating multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a clinical trial that appeared in the JAMAsArchives of Neurology. However, researchers acknowledged the randomized controlled trial was underpowered.

The study investigated the effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation as a single therapy or in combination with interferon beta-1a, a drug used in the treatment of MS, on the effects of disease activity.

Researchers assessed 92 patients with MS in the double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, using magnetic resonance imaging to measure disease activity by the number of new lesions in the brain.

There was no difference between the 2 groups in the number of relapses or lesions during the first 6 months of treatment or after 24 months, researchers said. In addition, no differences were detected either in fatigue or quality-of-life scores.

Researchers noted that their results were in contrast with 2 other studies reporting a possible positive effect.

The authors commented that their data does not suggest omega-3 fatty acid supplementation is harmful, or that such supplementation interfered with interferon beta treatment, which they noted can reduce disease activity in the relapsing-remitting course of MS.