Effect of omega-3 fatty acids on disease severity in patients with psoriasis: A systematic review

Int J Rheum Dis. 2017 Apr;20(4):442-450. doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.13051. Epub 2017 Mar 5.


Aim: Many randomized controlled trials have been performed on the efficacy and mechanism of action of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) on psoriasis. However, contradictory results have been obtained. This study wants to assess the effects of n-3 PUFAs on the severity of psoriasis.

Methods: The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PubMed/MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched for all randomized controlled trials and prospective observational studies comparing the efficacy of n-3 PUFAs versus control in adult patients with psoriasis. The primary outcome was psoriasis severity as measured by the Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) score.

Results: The initial search yielded 732 articles, 720 of which were excluded. The data of the 12 remaining studies were extracted. Some studies found that n-3 PUFAs were associated with improvements in the PASI score, erythema, scaling, itching, area involved and infiltration. However, some studies did not find reduction in scaling, erythema, area involved or thickness in the treatment group.

Conclusion: It is still inconclusive whether use of n-3 PUFAs in patients with psoriasis is associated with improvements in severity of psoriasis and other outcomes.

Keywords: PUFA; polyunsaturated fatty acids; psoriasis; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dietary Supplements* / adverse effects
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / adverse effects
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Psoriasis / diagnosis
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3