Effects of dietary supplementation with fish oil on dry eye syndrome subjects: randomized controlled trial

Biomed Res. 2013;34(5):215-20. doi: 10.2220/biomedres.34.215.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of fish oil supplementation added to usual dry eye treatment in dry eye subjects in a randomized controlled trial. Twenty-seven typical dry eye subjects were selected from 43 candidates by the diagnostic criterion for dry eye in this study. They were assigned to the randomized fish oil group (n = 15) or the placebo group (n = 12). Fish oil group ingested fish oil capsules containing eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 1245 mg/day) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 540 mg/day) for 12 weeks. Placebo group ingested placebo capsules without EPA or DHA. A visual analog scale test estimating subjective symptoms, the Schirmer I test, tear film break-up time (BUT) measurement, fluorescein staining, and rose bengal staining were performed every 4 weeks during the 12-week supplementation period and 4-week washout period. The subjective symptom of "eye pain", BUT, and changes in rose bengal staining score of the fish oil group were significantly improved after 8-12 weeks of supplementation and/or 4 weeks of washout, compared to those of the placebo group. These results suggest that fish oil supplementation added to usual care may be effective in the treatment of dry eye.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / diet therapy*
  • Female
  • Fish Oils / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Fish Oils