n-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation and Leukocyte Telomere Length in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease

Nutrients. 2016 Mar 19;8(3):175. doi: 10.3390/nu8030175.


DNA telomere shortening associates with the age-related increase cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Reducing oxidative stress, could modify telomere erosion during cell replication, and CVD risk in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The effect of n-3 fatty acids and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ) on telomere length was studied in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial in CKD. Eighty-five CKD patients were randomized to: n-3 fatty acids (4 g); CoQ (200 mg); both supplements; or control (4 g olive oil), daily for 8 weeks. Telomere length was measured in neutrophils and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) at baseline and 8 weeks, with and without correction for cell counts. Main and interactive effects of n-3 fatty acids and CoQ on telomere length were assessed adjusting for baseline values. F₂-isoprostanes were measured as markers of oxidative stress. There was no effect of n-3 fatty acids or CoQ on neutrophil or PBMC telomere length. However, telomere length corrected for neutrophil count was increased after n-3 fatty acids (p = 0.015). Post-intervention plasma F₂-isoprostanes were negative predictors of post-intervention telomere length corrected for neutrophil count (p = 0.025).The effect of n-3 fatty acids to increased telomere length corrected for neutrophil count may relate to reduced oxidative stress and increased clearance of neutrophils with shorter telomeres from the circulation. This may be a novel mechanism of modifying CVD risk in CKD patients.

Keywords: coenzyme Q10; n-3 fatty acids; neutrophils; oxidative stress; telomere length.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antioxidants / adverse effects
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Dietary Supplements* / adverse effects
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / adverse effects
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Combinations
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / adverse effects
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • F2-Isoprostanes / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / drug effects*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils / drug effects*
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / genetics
  • Telomere / drug effects*
  • Telomere / metabolism
  • Telomere Homeostasis / drug effects*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ubiquinone / adverse effects
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / therapeutic use
  • Western Australia


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Drug Combinations
  • F2-Isoprostanes
  • Ubiquinone
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid
  • Omacor
  • coenzyme Q10