Research: DE VIZIA and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 95


DE VIZIA and colleagues, Department of Pediatrics, University Frederico II, Napoli, Italy,, have carried out an 8-months treatment of patients with cystic fibrosis with n-3 fatty acids.


Supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid(DHA), the main long-chain n-3 polyundaturated fatty acids in cell membranes, may have beneficial effects in cystic fibrosis.


30 patients with cystic fibrosis and 20 controls participated in this prospective trial. EPA and DHA together constituted 1.3% of caloric intake in the patients. Fatty acid composition of red blood cell membranes was measured at 4 and 8 months, also in response to long-term supplementation with fish oil.


Fish oil supplementation led to an increase of both EPA and DHA in red cell membranes in both cystic fibrosis patients and controls. These changes were accompanied by a decrease in arachidonic acid and decrease of markers of inflammatory processes. Pulmonary testing showed a small but significant improvement in forced expiratory volume, and the number of days on antibiotics was decreased markedly during the study period compared to the preceding 8 months in cystic fibrosis patients.


Long-term supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids has beneficial effects in cystic fibrosis.


De Vizia B, Raia V, Spane C, Pavlidis C, Coruzzo A, Alessio M. Effect of an 8-month treatment with omega-3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic) in patients with cystic fibrosis. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition 27 (1): 52-57, Jan-Feb 2003.

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