Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids supplementation improve clinical symptoms in patients with Covid-19: A randomised clinical trial

Int J Clin Pract. 2021 Sep 13;e14854. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.14854. Online ahead of print.


Aims: We hypothesised that omega-3 fatty acids would be an appropriate adjunct therapy for alleviating the inflammatory response and clinical manifestation in hospitalised patients with Covid-19 disease.

Methods: This was a single-blind randomised controlled trial in Amir-Alam hospital in Tehran. Thirty adult men and women diagnosed with Covid-19 were allocated to either control group (receiving Hydroxychloroquine) or intervention group (receiving Hydroxychloroquine plus 2 grams of Docosahexaenoic acid [DHA] + Eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA]) for 2 weeks. Primary outcome of the intervention including C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) as well as clinical symptoms including body pain, fatigue, appetite and olfactory and secondary outcomes including liver enzymes were determined at the baseline and after omega-3 supplementation. Clinical signs were measured using self-reported questionnaires. There were commercial kits for determination of CRP and liver enzymes concentrations in the serum of patients. For determination of ESR automated haematology analyser was applied. The study of "Comparison of the effectiveness of omega-3 and Hydroxychloroquine on Inflammatory factors, liver enzymes and clinical symptoms in diabetic Covid-19 patients" was registered in Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (IRCT) with ID number: IRCT20200511047399N1.

Results: In comparison to control group, patients receiving omega-3 indicated favourable changes in all clinical symptoms except for olfactory (P < .001 for body pain and fatigue, P = .03 for appetite and P = .21 for olfactory). Reducing effects of omega-3 supplementation compared with control group were also observed in the levels of ESR and CRP after treatment (P < .001 for CRP and P = .02 for ESR). However, no between group differences in the liver enzymes serum concentrations were observed after supplementation (P > .05).

Conclusion: Current observations are very promising and indicate that supplementation with moderate dosages of omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial in the management of inflammation-mediated clinical symptoms in Covid-19 patients.