A randomized placebo-controlled study on high-dose oral algal docosahexaenoic acid supplementation in children with cystic fibrosis

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2013 Feb;88(2):163-9. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2012.10.002. Epub 2012 Dec 21.


Low plasma concentrations of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are reported in unsupplemented cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Forty-one CF patients aged from 6 to 12 years were randomized to receive high-dose DHA (100 mg/kg/day in the first month and 1g per day thereafter through a 12-month supplementation) or placebo (germ oil). Primary outcome was percentage change in plasma AA:DHA ratio. Secondary outcomes were changes in the number of pulmonary exacerbations compared to previous year, lung function, BMI, skinfold thicknesses, and body composition assessed by DXA and in serum concentrations of C-reactive protein, cytokines and vitamin (α-tocopherol and retinol). Compared to the control group plasma AA:DHA ratio decreased in the intervention group after 6 months (median percentage changes: -73% in the intervention group vs. -10% in the control group, P=0.001). No differences were detected between groups for secondary outcomes. Despite a decrease of the AA/DHA ratio, DHA supplementation for one year did not induce any significant biochemical and clinical improvement in CF patients.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Body Composition / drug effects
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / blood
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-8 / blood
  • Male
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood
  • Vitamin A / blood
  • alpha-Tocopherol / blood


  • Interleukin-8
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Vitamin A
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • alpha-Tocopherol