Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Lipid Profiles in Dialysis Patients: Meta-Analysis

Arch Med Res. 2014 Aug;45(6):469-77. doi: 10.1016/j.arcmed.2014.06.008. Epub 2014 Jul 8.


Background and aims: Studies of omega-3 supplementation in dialysis patients describe salutary effects on lipid profiles. However, study results have been inconsistent. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of omega-3 supplementation on serum lipids in chronic dialysis patients.

Methods: A systematic literature search was performed to identify the relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that investigated the effects of omega-3 supplementation on dialysis patients. The outcomes included the levels of triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and albumin. Mean differences (MDs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated and heterogeneity was assessed with the I(2) test.

Results: A total of 678 patients from 14 trials were subjected to meta-analysis. Omega-3 supplementation could significantly decrease the levels of TG (MD, -34.8 mg/dL; 95% CI, -62.32 to -7.28) and LDL (MD, -7.15 mg/dL; 95% CI, -10.11 to -4.2). However, no statistically significant effects were observed for TC, HDL and albumin levels. In a subgroup meta-analysis, a statistically significant effect of omega-3 consumption on TG and LDL was observed in a short-term interventional duration and hemodialysis populations.

Conclusion: Our findings indicate that omega-3 supplementation significantly reduced serum TG and LDL level in dialysis patients. However, there is no conclusive evidence that it can modulate the TC, HDL and albumin level.

Keywords: Dialysis; Lipid; Meta-analysis; Omega-3.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dyslipidemias / blood
  • Dyslipidemias / diet therapy*
  • Dyslipidemias / etiology
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Models, Statistical
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / complications
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Biomarkers
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol