Research: LASS and BELLUZZI,

Listed in Issue 281


LASS and BELLUZZI, 1 Haipharm Ltd., London, UK. ; 2 Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, St. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna 40138, Italy review the published evidence regarding Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and their role in clinical outcomes of human fertility and specifically IVF treatment.


Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are essential fatty acids, derived mostly from fish oil, that have a significant anti-inflammatory effect.


Data from animal studies support their role in the reproductive mechanism, and recent human studies suggest a positive effect on sperm quality and natural conception. Their general role in human fertility, and specifically in IVF treatment, however, is not clear.


A few small, prospective cohort studies have examined the relationship between serum PUFAs and outcome measures and success in IVF, with conflicting results. Some have demonstrated a better chance of live birth with increased levels of serum omega-3 PUFAs, whereas others have failed to show such a correlation, and the reasons for such differences are not clear. Moreover, no well-designed, published studies have assessing whether the administration of omega-3 PUFAs before IVF treatment can improve clinical pregnancy and live birth rates.


The development of safe and well-tolerated pharmaceutical forms of the active omega-3 PUFAs, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), mean that assessment of this question is now possible and future studies are warranted.


Amir Lass  1 , Andrea Belluzzi  2.  Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and IVF treatment

Reprod Biomed Online;38(1):95-99. Jan 2019. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2018.10.008. Epub Dec 6 2018.

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