The effects of dietary supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized, double blind trial

Eur J Clin Invest. 1992 Oct;22(10):687-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.1992.tb01431.x.


Study objective: To determine the effect of dietary supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) on disease variables in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Design: Multicenter, randomized, placebo controlled, double blind.

Setting: Three Danish hospital Departments of Rheumatology.

Patients: Fifty-one patients with active rheumatoid arthritis.

Intervention: Random allocation to 12 weeks of treatment with either six n-3 PUFA capsules (3.6 g) or six capsules with fat composition as the average Danish diet.

Main results: Significant improvement of morning stiffness and joint tenderness. No significant effect on the four other assessed clinical parameters. No serious side effects.

Conclusions: Dietary supplementation with n-3 PUFA in patients with rheumatoid arthritis improved two out of six patient reported disease parameters. Further studies are needed to clarify the more precise role of n-3 PUFA in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / blood
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diet therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptide Fragments / blood
  • Procollagen / blood


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Procollagen
  • procollagen type I carboxy terminal peptide
  • C-Reactive Protein