Aim: To assess the value of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (FAs) supplementation in addition to amino-salicylic-acid (5-ASA) in pediatric patients with Crohn's disease (CD).
Methods: Thirty-eight patients (20 males and 18 females, mean age 10.13 years, range 5-16 years) with CD in remission were randomized into two groups and treated for 12 mo. Group I (18 patients) received 5-ASA (50 mg/kg/d)+ omega-3 FAs as triglycerides in gastro-resistant capsules, 3 g/d (eicosapentanoic acid, EPA, 400 mg/g, docosahexaenoic acid, DHA, 200 mg/g). Group II (20 patients) received 5-ASA (50 mg/kg/d)+olive oil placebo capsules. Patients were evaluated for fatty acid incorporation in red blood cell membranes by gas chromatography at baseline 6 and 12 mo after the treatment.
Results: The number of patients who relapsed at 1 year was significantly lower in group I than in group II (P<0.001). Patients in group I had a significant increase in the incorporation of EPA and DHA (P<0.001) and a decrease in the presence of arachidonic acids.
Conclusion: Enteric-coated omega-3 FAs in addition to treatment with 5-ASA are effective in maintaining remission of pediatric CD.