Therapeutic Effect of Long-Chain PUFA Omega 3 Supplementation in Obese Children

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Investigators sought to determine whether supplementation of LCPUFA‐ω3 for 3 months would reduce insulin resistance and weight in adolescents with obesity.

Supplementation with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids omega‐3 (LCPUFA‐ω3) do not have a therapeutic effect in obese children with insulin resistance, according to study findings published in Pediatric Obesity.

LCPUFA‐ω3 have demonstrated anti‐inflammatory and metabolic properties, but their potential therapeutic effects in children who are obese and have metabolic

alterations is unclear. In this study, researchers evaluated whether supplementation with LCPUFA‐ω3 together with calorie restriction over a 3-month period would reduce insulin resistance and weight in adolescents who are obese.

A cohort of 366 adolescents with obesity were randomly assigned to receive either 1.2 g LCPUFA‐ω3 or 1 g sunflower oil daily for 3 months and both groups followed an energy‐restricted diet. Basal and final blood samples were obtained to measure metabolic markers and erythrocytes fatty acids.

At baseline, 92% of the cohort had insulin resistance, 66% had hypertriglyceridemia, 37% had low‐grade inflammation, and 32% had metabolic syndrome. Upon multivariate analysis, the researchers observed that LCPUFA‐ω3 supplementation did not affect weight, insulin, or Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance even after adjusting for baseline values, and changes were similar in both groups.

While the lack of effect is inconsistent with previous research, noted the researchers, “this study demonstrates a null effect of LCPUFA‐ω3 supplementation to adolescents with obesity, on insulin resistance and body weight.”

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López-Alarcón M, Inda-Icaza P, Márquez-Maldonado MC, et al. A randomized control trial of the impact of LCPUFA-ω3 supplementation on body weight and insulin resistance in  pubertal children with obesity [published online December 27, 2019]. Pediatr Obes. doi:10.1111/ijpo.12499