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C. P. Garcher, F. Brignole-Baudouin, C. Baudouin, P. Aragona, M. Rolando, M. Labetoulle, P.-J. Pisella, R. Siou-Mermet; Influence of Oral Supplementation of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids on Conjunctival Inflammatory Markers in Dry Eye Patients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):4638.
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Some studies have suggested that the intake of omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids may improve dry eye syndrome. This study was designed to assess whether the oral supplementation of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can reduce inflammatory markers in the conjunctiva of dry eye patients.
138 patients presenting mild to moderate dry eye were included in a 3-month, multicenter, double-masked, randomized, controlled clinical study. They were assigned to either placebo capsules (medium chain triglycerides) or capsules containing omega-3 fatty acids (855mg), omega-6 fatty acids (15mg), vitamins (C, E, B6, B12) and zinc. Impression cytology was performed on the worst eye at inclusion and at Month 3 to assess the rate of positive cells expressing HLA-DR inflammatory marker and their fluorescence intensity. Other assessments included a composite score for ocular dry eye symptoms and objective signs.
121 subjects had available impression cytology and 106 were compliant with the protocol. Both populations were analyzed. The reduction of the percentage of HLA-DR positive cells was more important in the supplemented group of the 106 subjects (p=0.021). Furthermore, the reduction of the fluorescence intensity was also greater in the supplemented group of the 106 subjects (p=0.017) and of the 121 subjects (p=0.041). For symptoms and signs, there was a better but not significant improvement of burning, dryness and stinging and of the lissamine and corneal fluorescein stainings in the supplemented group.
This study suggests that a supplementation of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in dry eye patients reduces the HLA-DR conjunctival inflammatory markers. No significant difference was found for the signs and symptoms but there was a consistent trend for a better improvement in the supplemented group.
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