Effect of a Novel Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acid Supplement on Dry Eye Disease: A 3-month Randomized Controlled Trial Journal Articles uri icon

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  • SIGNIFICANCE Supplementing diet with a novel combination of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids significantly improved symptoms in extremely symptomatic participants with dry eye disease (DED). PURPOSE This study aimed to determine the effect of daily intake of a novel combination of essential fatty acids on signs and symptoms of DED. METHODS Participants with moderate to severe DED were enrolled in a prospective, randomized, double-masked parallel group study. Participants ingested either the treatment supplement containing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (1200 mg eicosapentaenoic acid, 300 mg docosahexaenoic acid, 150 mg γ-linoleic acid) or the placebo (coconut and olive oil) daily for 3 months. To determine compliance, Omega-3 Index blood tests were conducted. At baseline and at 1 and 3 months, the following assessments were conducted: Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire and Symptom Assessment Questionnaire in Dry Eye, noninvasive tear breakup time, tear meniscus height, tear osmolarity, ocular redness, surface staining, Schirmer test, and meibography. RESULTS Fifty participants (mean ± standard deviation baseline OSDI score, 52.2 ± 16.5) completed the study: 24 randomized to treatment and 26 randomized to placebo. Although there was an improvement in OSDI score at 3 months for both groups (treatment: −13.4 points, P = .003; placebo: −7.8 points, P = .02), participants with baseline OSDI scores >52 demonstrated an even larger significant improvement in symptoms with the treatment at 3 months compared with baseline (n = 13, −20.8 points, P = .002). There were no significant changes in any of the ocular assessments at 1 or 3 months (all P > .05). After 3 months, Omega-3 Index increased by 34% in the treatment group (baseline, 5.3 ± 0.8; 3 months, 8.0 ± 2.1; P < .001) and did not change in the placebo group (baseline, 4.8 ± 0.8; 3 months, 4.8 ± 0.6; P = .95). CONCLUSIONS Supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and γ-linoleic acid resulted in a significant and clinically meaningful improvement of dry eye symptoms in extremely symptomatic participants with DED (OSDI ≥52).


  • Ng, Alison
  • Woods, Jill
  • Jahn, Theresa
  • Jones, Lyndon
  • Sullivan Ritter, Jenna

publication date

  • January 2022