Effect of omega-3 fatty acids supplementation on testosterone levels in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
Background: Scientific literature has shown evidence that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) have anti-androgenic action, and for this reason could be useful as an adjuvant in hyperandrogenism conditions including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). However, the possible effect of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation on testosterone concentration still remains undetermined. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis to investigate effects of EPA/DHA supplements on testosterone hormone in PCOS women.
Methods: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published until end May 2015 were searched through a comprehensive search of the PubMed and Scopus electronic databases. Included RCTs evaluated omega-3 fatty acids supplements compared with control in patients with PCOS and reported circulatory androgens. The meta-analysis quality assessment was conducted by the Jadad scoring criteria.
Results: Four RCTs were analyzed in this meta-analysis. The dose range for EPA and DHA was 0.9-3.6. Follow-up ranged from 6 to 8 weeks. Meta-analysis on testosterone levels revealed a significant lowering effect (weighted mean difference - 0.264; 95% confidence interval = −0.39, 0.14; p < 0.001) of omega-3 fatty acids for PCOS subjects.
Conclusion: The results of our study revealed benefits on total testosterone with the use of omega-3 PUFA supplements on PCOS patients. Further, high-quality RCTs are required to definitively draw a causal interpretation of our finding.
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