Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in advanced kidney disease

Semin Dial. 2010 Jul-Aug;23(4):396-400. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-139X.2010.00748.x.


Long-chain polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 PUFA), which are obtained primarily from dietary sources such as coldwater fish, have diverse and potent mediating effects on the immune, inflammatory, and metabolic pathways, signal transduction, and cell membrane physiology. N-3 PUFA are increasingly being studied for their clinical benefits in a variety of medical conditions, some of which are relevant to individuals with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD). These include, among others, renoprotection in IgA nephropathy, cardioprotective effects via a variety of mechanisms including blood pressure and triglyceride reduction, maintenance of dialysis access patency, sparing of inflammation-associated muscle loss, and even mortality. However, further confirmatory work needs to be performed before establishing formal intake recommendations and dosing goals for advanced CKD patients. In the meantime, the current American Heart Association n-3 PUFA intake guidelines can be applied to CKD patients, especially given n-3 PUFA's potential benefits and negligible risk profile. Over time, it will be incumbent upon the nephrology community to more clearly define the utility and optimal dosing of n-3 PUFA in CKD patients with advanced disease via randomized clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Dietary Fats / therapeutic use*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / diet therapy*
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3