Effects of Fish Oil on HIV-Related Inflammation and Markers of Immunosenescence: A Randomized Clinical Trial

J Altern Complement Med. 2018 Jul;24(7):709-716. doi: 10.1089/acm.2017.0222. Epub 2018 May 15.


Objective: To explore the safety and efficacy of fish oil to modulate parameters of inflammation and immunosenescence in HIV-infected older adults.

Design: This study uses a randomized, controlled, double-blind clinical trial.

Setting: The study was conducted in an outpatient HIV/AIDS clinic in a large urban Midwestern city in the United States.

Subjects: A total of 37 clinically stable HIV-infected adults between the ages of 40 and 70 years of age participated.

Interventions: Fish oil 1.6 g/day was administered for 12 weeks or placebo.

Outcome measures: Inflammatory cytokine production, surface markers of immunosenescence, and adverse events were measured.

Results: After 12 weeks of supplementation, there were no significant differences between the treatment and control groups on any measures of inflammation or immunosenescence in both CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes. More participants in the treatment group reported adverse gastrointestinal events compared with the control group.

Conclusions: A 12-week supplementation regimen of 1.6 g/day of fish oil did not favorably modulate parameters of inflammation or immune senescence in HIV-infected adults. Future studies should test agents that directly target mechanisms that underlie HIV-related inflammation to determine whether reducing inflammation can reverse immunosenescence.

Keywords: HIV; immunosenescence; omega-3 fatty acids.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Fish Oils* / administration & dosage
  • Fish Oils* / pharmacology
  • Fish Oils* / therapeutic use
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Immunosenescence / drug effects*
  • Inflammation* / blood
  • Inflammation* / drug therapy
  • Inflammation* / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Midwestern United States


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fish Oils