To determine whether treatment with omega-3 fatty acids (ω-3 FA) provides benefits to patients with acute pancreatitis (AP). The Cochrane Library, PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Chinese Biomedical Literature Database were searched. Data analysis was performed using Revman 5.2 software. A total of eight randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included. Overall, ω-3 FA treatment resulted in a significantly reduced risk of mortality (RR 0.35; 95% CI 0.16 to 0.75, p < 0.05), infectious complications (RR 0.54; 95% CI 0.34 to 0.85, p < 0.05) and length of hospital stay (MD -6.50; 95% CI -9.54 to -3.46, p < 0.05), but not length of ICU stay (MD -1.98; 95% CI -6.92 to 2.96, p > 0.05). In subgroup analysis, only patients who received ω-3 FA parenterally had some statistically significant benefits in terms of mortality (risk ratio (RR) 0.37; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.16 to 0.86, p < 0.05), infectious complications (RR 0.5; 95% CI 0.28 to 0.9, p < 0.05) and length of hospital stay (mean difference (MD) -8.13; 95% CI -10.39 to -5.87, p < 0.001). The administration of ω-3 FA may be beneficial for decreasing mortality, infectious complications, and length of hospital stay in AP, especially when used parenterally. Large and rigorously designed RCTs are required to elucidate the efficacy of parenteral or enteral ω-3 FA treatment in AP.