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.