Purpose of review: Summarize studies on omega-3 fatty acids in prevention of albuminuria in subjects with diabetes.
Recent findings: Several small, short-term trials suggested benefit on albuminuria in subjects with diabetes; however, results were not definitive. Welty et al. showed that eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for 1 year slowed progression of early-stage albuminuria in subjects with diabetes with clinical coronary artery disease on an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin-receptor blocker, the majority of whom had an albumin/creatinine ratio (ACR) < 30 μg/mg. Moreover, significantly more (3-fold) subjects on EPA and DHA had a decrease in ACR compared to control, and three on EPA and DHA had a change in category from > 30 μg/mg to < 30 μg/mg, whereas no controls did. Potential mechanisms for benefit are discussed. These results suggest that there is benefit and perhaps even reversal of albuminuria with EPA and DHA at an early stage of disease in those with ACR < 30 μg/mg and those with microalbuminuria (ACR > 30).
Keywords: Albuminuria; Coronary artery disease; Diabetes; Docosahexaenoic acid; Eicosapentaenoic acid; Omega-3 fatty acids.