Effectiveness of Omega-3 fatty acid for polycystic ovary syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2018 Mar 27;16(1):27. doi: 10.1186/s12958-018-0346-x.


Objective: To assess the effectiveness and safety of omega-3 fatty acid for patients with PCOS.

Methods: In this meta-analysis, data from randomized controlled trials were obtained to assess the effects of omega-3 fatty acid versus placebo or western medicine in women with PCOS. The study's registration number is CRD42017065859. The primary outcomes included the change of homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) of insulin resistance, total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG) and adiponectin.

Result: Nine trials involving 591 patients were included. Comparing with the control group, omega-3 fatty acid may improve HOMA index (WMD -0.80; 95% CI -0.89, - 0.71; P<0. 00001), decrease TC and TG level [TC: (WMD -9.43; 95% CI -11.90, - 6.95; P<0. 00001); TG: (WMD -29.21; 95% CI -48.08, - 10.34; P = 0. 002)], and increase adiponectin level (WMD 1.34; 95% CI 0.51, 2.17; P = 0. 002).

Conclusion: Based on current evidence, omega-3 fatty acid may be recommended for the treatment of PCOS with insulin resistance as well as high TC (especially LDL-C) and TG.

Keywords: Meta-analysis; Omega-3 fatty acid; Polycystic ovary syndrome; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Placebos
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Adiponectin
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Placebos
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol