Usefulness of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in addition to mesalazine in maintaining remission in pediatric Crohn's disease: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study

World J Gastroenterol. 2005 Dec 7;11(45):7118-21. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v11.i45.7118.


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.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Crohn Disease / blood
  • Crohn Disease / diet therapy*
  • Crohn Disease / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Erythrocyte Membrane / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mesalamine / administration & dosage*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Mesalamine