Body surface area-based omega-3 fatty acids supplementation strongly correlates to blood concentrations in children

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2021 Jun:169:102285. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2021.102285. Epub 2021 Apr 24.


Omega-3 fatty acids have been suggested as a complement in cancer treatment, but doses are not established. We performed a dose-finding study in 33 children in remission from cancer. Participants were allocated to a body surface area (BSA) adjusted dose (mg/m2) of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (40:60), ranging 233-3448 mg/m2 daily for 90 days. Fatty acid concentration in plasma phospholipids and red blood cells were determined by GC. Supplementation was well tolerated and correlated strongly with blood ω3-fatty acid concentrations and EPA showed the highest increase. Using the ω3-index disregards docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), which increased 30-43% in our study motivating an EDD-index (∑EPA,DPA,DHA). The ratio between arachidonic acid and EPA or DHA showed negative exponential trends. Dose per BSA enabled an individualized omega-3 supplementation decreasing the variation referred to interindividual differences. Based on our results, we suggest a dose of 1500 mg/m2 BSA for further studies.

Keywords: Arachidonic acid; Docosahexaenoic acid; Docosapentaenoic acid; Eicosapentaenoic acid; Oleic acid.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Surface Area
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / blood*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Dosage Calculations
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / blood*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / blood*


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid