TABLE 13-1 Relevant Data Identified for n-3 Fatty Acids (DHA, EPA, ALA)


Type of Injury/Insult

Type of Study and Subjects



Tier 1: Clinical trials

Garbagnati et al., 2009

Ischemic stroke

Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Postinjury, n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA, 500 mg), antioxidants, PUFA and antioxidants, or placebo for 12 months

Neurological and function status was not significantly affected by any supplements. Although PUFA was associated with lower mortality rate, the trend was not statistically significant.

na=72 stroke patients

No adverse effects were observed.

Poppitt et al., 2009

Ischemic stroke

Randomized, placebo-controlled trial

3 g/day of fish oil capsules containing approx 1.2 g total n-3 fatty acid (0.7 DHA, 0.3 EPA) or placebo for 12 weeks

Fish oil had no effect on triglyceride level, though there was a nonsignificant 7% increase in the fish oil-treated group and a nonsignificant 3% decrease in the placebo group.

n=102 stroke patients

Fish oil also had no significant effect on total cholesterol level, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), LDL particle size, different sized LDL-C, high sensitivity C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation, ferritin, or fibrinogen.

Analysis of the 28-item General Health Questionnaire showed that fish oil–treated group had a mean 1.41 point decrease in total score (95% CIb: –2.76 to –0.06; p=0.04) and a mean 1.24 point decrease in social dysfunction (95% CI: –2.33 to –0.14; p=0.03). There was no change in scores for somatic symptoms, anxiety and insomnia, or depression.

Adverse effects related to treatment were not assessed.

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