Effects of Omega-3 Supplementation on Adipocytokines in Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Diabetes Metab J. 2018 Apr;42(2):101-116. doi: 10.4093/dmj.2018.42.2.101.


Background: The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to determine the effects of omega-3 supplementation on adipocytokine levels in adult prediabetic and diabetic individuals.

Methods: We searched PubMed, Medline, EMBASE, Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar, Cochrane Trial Register, World Health Organization Clinical Trial Registry Platform, and Clinicaltrial.gov Registry from inception to August 1, 2017 for randomized controlled trials. Pooled effects of interventions were assessed as mean difference using random effects model. We conducted a sensitivity, publication bias and subgroup analysis.

Results: Fourteen studies individuals (n=685) were included in the meta-analysis. Omega-3 supplementation increased levels of adiponectin (0.48 μg/mL; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.27 to 0.68; P<0.00001, n=10 trials), but effects disappeared after sensitivity analysis. Tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) levels were reduced (-1.71; 95% CI, -3.38 to -0.14; P=0.03, n=8 trials). Treatment duration shorter than 12 weeks was associated with greater reduction than longer treatment duration. Levels of other adipocytokines were not significantly affected. Publication bias could generally not be excluded.

Conclusion: Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid supplementation may increase adiponectin and reduce TNF-α levels in this population group. However, due to overall study heterogeneity and potential publication bias, a cautious interpretation is needed.

Keywords: Adipokines; Diabetes mellitus; Fatty acids, omega-3.

Publication types

  • Review