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01.12.2018 | Commentary | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Cardiovascular Diabetology 1/2018

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids supplementation in patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk: does dose really matter?

Cardiovascular Diabetology > Ausgabe 1/2018
Alexander Tenenbaum, Enrique Z. Fisman
Wichtige Hinweise
Alexander Tenenbaum and Enrique Z. Fisman contributed equally to this article


There is a vast disagreement in relation to the possible beneficial effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 PUFA) supplementation in patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The conflicting results between the various original studies and meta-analyses could be partially explained as a result of variable supplementation dosage and duration, either of which may modify the effects of omega-3 PUFA on cardio-metabolic biomarkers. Meta-analyses are limited usually by the inability to draw inferences regarding dosage, duration and the interaction of dosage and duration of omega-3 PUFA intake. Even so, almost all endpoints in the so-called “negative” meta-analyses leaned toward a trend for benefit with a near 10% reduction in cardiovascular outcomes and a borderline statistical significance. Many trials included in these meta-analyses tested an insufficient daily dose of omega-3 PUFA of less than 1000 mg. Probably, the consistent cardiovascular effects of omega-3 PUFA supplements could be expected only with daily doses above 2000 mg.
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