Combined Add-on Supplementation of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Copper, and Selenium in Rheumatoid Arthritis


Objectives: The present study evaluated the effects of a combined nutritional supplement, containing omega-3 fatty acids (ω-3 FA) and different antioxidative micronutrients on nutrient status and disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods: The study was conducted as a double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled trial. A hundred patients with defined RA were allocated to the verum or placebo group. During a period of twelve weeks they were given three capsules of their specific study supplementation every day. The daily dosage of ω-3 FA was 1.35 g (thereof 900 mg eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA), 90 mg vitamin E, 600 μg vitamin A, 3 mg copper, and 75 μg selenium, or soy oil (placebo), respectively. Outcome variables were the changes in DAS 28, the number of tender and swollen joints, morning stiffness, and supply with different nutrients (e.g. serum concentration of EPA, AA and vitamin E), as well as blood lipid levels. Results: Sixty-four participants were included in this analysis: 30 receiving verum and 34 placebo. After twelve weeks of intervention, little but not significant improvements were observed in the DAS 28 and other clinical factors. Subgroup analysis revealed that the effect was much more pronounced in patients who were at least at a moderate activity of illness. Regarding the nutritional status, the serum concentration of EPA (P < 0.001), vitamin E (P < 0.01), SOD (P < 0.05), and GPx (P < 0.001) increased significantly, while AA (P < 0.001) decreased after supplementation. The concentration of triglycerides decreased significantly in the verum group (P < 0.05) but not in the placebo group. Conclusions: A twelve week add-on supplementation of a combined food supplement (ω-3 FA + antioxidants) effected modest but not significant changes in the clinical parameters in RA. Though vitamin E, SOD and GPx improved significantly, equivalent to an increased antioxidant defence. This supplementation was dedicated to enhance the nutritional status of critical nutrients in RA, especially with regard to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in these patients.

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J. Willers, S. Fasse, N. Putschky, H. Zeidler, H. Pott, M. Bernateck, W. Demary, R. Hein, V. Pham, R. Stange, B. Uehleke, H. Weidemann, G. Hoese, R. Lichtinghagen and A. Hahn, "Combined Add-on Supplementation of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Copper, and Selenium in Rheumatoid Arthritis," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 2 No. 7, 2011, pp. 714-723. doi: 10.4236/fns.2011.27098.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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