Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Omega-3 supplements found to be ineffective in alleviating dry eye symptoms

Omega-3 supplements found to be ineffective in alleviating dry eye symptoms

Many doctors recommend them, but fish oil supplements failed to help people with dry eye when put to a scientific test. As a news release from the National Eye Institute, which funded the current study, points out, Americans spend more than one $1 billion annually on fish-oil supplements alone.

About 14 per cent of USA adults have dry eye, which causes pain and vision problems.

"The results are significant and may change the way a lot of ophthalmologists and optometrists treat their patients", added Vatinee Y. Bunya, Assistant Professor at the varsity.

Asbell, M.D., from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and colleagues randomized patients with moderate-to-severe dry eye disease to receive a daily oral dose of 3,000 mg of fish-derived n-3 eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids (329 patients) or an olive oil placebo (170 patients).

"Dry eye is a common problem that nearly everyone experiences at some point in their lives", he said, noting that symptoms can range from mild discomfort to chronic, debilitating pain that interferes with daily life.

Yet research has found no good evidence to support such health claims. Each omega-3 dose contained 2,000 milligrams of EPA and 1,000 milligrams of DHA. The doses were delivered in identical capsules and neither the patients nor their eye doctors knew which treatment group they were in.

Pioneer Natural Resources Company (PXD) stock forward in overbought space?
Pioneer Natural Resources Company operates as an independent gas and oil exploration and production firm in the United States. On Friday, November 3 the stock of Pioneer Natural Resources Company (NYSE:PXD) has "Outperform" rating given by Bernstein.

What's odd is that both groups reported a substantial improvement in symptoms, but the people receiving fish oil pills didn't score significantly higher than the placebo recipients. Among the people taking the omega-3 fatty acid supplements, 61 percent reported that their symptoms improved by at least 10 points on a 100-point scale, compared to 54 percent in the group taking the placebo, a difference not statistically significant, according to the researchers.

"For many, it resolves on its own or is quickly made better by the use of over the counter artificial tears".

Fish oil supplements have always been recommended to people suffering from dry eye disease, a common ailment that affects millions worldwide - but a newly released study says they don't work. There will be many people who will have a challenge ahead of this new study.

These findings highlight the difficulty in gauging whether a treatment is effective for a dry-eye patient, according to lead researcher Maureen G. Maguire, PhD, a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania.

FMI: The study can be read online at the NEJM website.

Like this: