Potential therapeutic impact of omega-3 long chain-polyunsaturated fatty acids on inflammation markers in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: A double-blind, controlled randomized trial

Published:September 23, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2017.09.011


      Background & aims

      Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is the most frequent dystrophy in childhood generated by a deficiency in dystrophin. DMD is a neuromuscular disease and its clinical course comprises chronic inflammation and gradual muscle weakness. Supplementation of omega-3 long chain-Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (ω-3 long chain-PUFA) reduces inflammatory markers in various disorders. The goal of this research was to analyze the influence of ω-3 long chain-PUFA intake on gene expression and blood inflammatory markers in boys with DMD.


      In a placebo-controlled, double. Blind, randomized trial, boys with DMD (n = 36) consumed 2.9 g/day of ω-3 long chain-PUFA or sunflower oil as control, in capsules, for a period of 6 months. Blood was analyzed at baseline and at months 1, 2, 3, and 6 of supplementation for expression of inflammatory markers in leukocytes and serum.


      There was high adherence to capsule intake (control: 95.3% ± 7.2%, and ω-3 long chain-PUFA: 97.4% ± 3.7% at month 6). Enrichment of EicosaPentaenoic Acid (EPA) and DocosaHexaenoic Acid (DHA) in erythrocytes increased significantly in patients supplemented with ω-3 long chain-PUFA compared with the placebo group during the 6 months of supplementation. Messenger RNA (mRNA) of the Nuclear Factor kappa beta (NF-κB) and its target genes InterLeukin 1 beta (IL-1β) and IL-6 was downregulated significantly (p < 0.05) in leukocytes from DMD boys supplemented with ω-3 long chain-PUFA for 6 months, compared to the placebo group. Omega-3 long chain-PUFA intake decreased the serum IL-1β (−59.5%; p = 0.011) and IL-6 (−54.8%; p = 0.041), and increased the serum IL-10 (99.9%, p < 0.005), in relation to those with placebo treatment.


      Supplementation with ω-3 long chain-PUFA 2.9 g/day is well-tolerated, has a beneficial reductive effect on proinflammatory markers, and increases an anti-inflammatory marker, indicating that ω-3 long chain-PUFA could have a potential therapeutic impact on chronic inflammation in DMD. This research is registered at clinicaltrials.gov (NCT018264229).



      DMD (Duchenne muscular dystrophy), ω-3 long chain-PUFA (omega-3 long chain-polyunsaturated fatty acids), EPA (EicosaPentaenoic Acid-20:5ω3), DHA (DocosaHexaenoic Acid-22:6ω3), CK (creatine kinase), NF-kB (nuclear factor kappa beta), TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor alpha), IL (InterLeukin)
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