Tanaka K, et al. Reduction in the recurrence of stroke by eicosapentaenoic acid for hypercholesterolemic patients: subanalysis of the JELIS trial. Stroke. 2008;39(7):2052-2058.
The JELIS trial was a large, prospective, clinical-controlled trial of 18,645 hypercholesterolemic patients that received statin therapy with or without omega-3 fatty acid supplementation (1800 mg/day). While stroke incidence during the 4.6 year mean follow-up period was not affected by omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in patients without a history of stroke, stroke recurrence was significantly reduced in individuals with a history of stroke. Due to the open-label design of this study, further studies are required.
Duffy EM et al. The clinical effect of dietary supplementation with omega-3 fish oils and/or copper in systemic lupus erythematosus. J. Rheumatology. 2004;31(8):1551-6.
A double blind, double placebo controlled trial. Fifty-two SLE patients were randomly assigned to 4 treatment groups that received 3 g fish oil and 3 g of copper, 3 g fish oil and placebo copper, 3 g copper and 3 g placebo fish oil, or both placebo capsules. Researchers found a significant reduction in symptoms of SLE in patients who took fish oil capsules compared to those on placebo. There was no measurable effect on symptoms in patients who took copper. Larger trials are needed to support this claim.
Thies F, Garry JM, Yaqoob P, Rerkasem K, Williams J, Shearman CP et al. Association of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids with stability of atherosclerotic plaques: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2003;361:477-85.
A randomized controlled trial of polyunsaturated fatty acids and stability of atherosclerotic plaques. 188 patients awaiting carotid endarterectomy were randomized to receive sunflower oil (high omega-6 concentration), fish oil (high omega-3 concentration) or control oil until surgery. Each patient consumed six capsules per day each containing 1 g of oil and 1 mg alpha-tocopherol. Duration of treatment ranged from seven to 189 days with a median of 42 days. Patients receiving the fish oil supplementation were found to have readily incorporated omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in their atherosclerotic plaques thereby enhancing the stability of the plaques. Patients receiving either sunflower oil or control had no change in fatty-acid composition or atherosclerotic stability during the course of treatment. Researchers believe that this stability of plaques may explain the reductions in cardiovascular events associated with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake.
Joy CB, Mumby-Croft R, Joy LA. Polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation for schizophrenia. Cochrane.Database.Syst.Rev. 2003;CD001257.
A systematic review of trials of polyunsaturated fatty acids for schizophrenia included including five small, short studies including 313 participants. One small study suggested that EPA enriched oil may have some antipsychotic properties when compared with placebo, however most trials were too small to show significant effect. Some of the trials included omega-6 fatty acid supplementation. Researchers conclude that larger, well designed studies are needed.