Effects of moderate-dose Omega-3 fish oil on cardiovascular risk factors and mood after ischemic stroke: A randomized, controlled trial

Sally D. Poppitt, Colin A. Howe, Fiona E. Lithander, Karen M. Silvers, Ruey Bin Lin, John Croft, Yogini Ratnasabapathy, Robert A. Gibson, Craig S. Anderson

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40 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE-: Fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids have long been associated with cardiovascular protection. In this trial, we assessed whether treatment with a guideline-recommended moderate-dose fish oil supplement could improve cardiovascular biomarkers, mood-and health-related quality of life in patients with ischemic stroke. METHODS-: Patients with CT-confirmed stroke were randomized to 3 g/day encapsulated fish oil containing approximately 1.2 g total omega-3 (0.7 g docosahexaenoic acid; 0.3 g eicosapentaenoic acid) or placebo oil (combination palm and soy) taken daily over 12 weeks. Serum triglycerides, total cholesterol and associated lipoproteins, selected inflammatory and hemostatic markers, mood, and health-related quality of life were assessed at baseline and follow-up. The primary outcome was change in triglycerides. Compliance was assessed by capsule count and serum phospholipid omega-3 levels (Australian Clinical Trials Registration: ACTRN12605000207617). RESULTS-: One hundred two patients were randomized to fish oil or placebo. Intention-to-treat and per-protocol (>85% compliance) analyses showed no significant effect of fish oil treatment on any lipid, inflammatory, hemostatic, or composite mood parameters measured. Adherence to treatment based on pill count was good (89%) reflected by increased serum docosahexanoic acid (P<0.001) and eicosapentaenoic acid (P=0.0006) in the fish oil group. Analysis of oil composition, however, showed some degradation and potentially adverse oxidation products at the end of the study. CONCLUSIONS-: There was no effect of 12 weeks of treatment with moderate-dose fish oil supplements on cardiovascular biomarkers or mood in patients with ischemic stroke. It is possible that insufficient dose, short duration of treatment, and/or oxidation of the fish oils may have influenced these outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3485-3492
Number of pages8
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Nov 2009


  • DHA
  • EPA
  • Fish oils
  • Ischemia
  • Omega-3
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing

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