Original Article

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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IssueVol 1, No 3 (Summer 2015) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
Polycystic ovarian syndrome Fatty acids Meta-analysis Testosterone

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How to Cite
Forouhi N, Shab-Bidar S, Djafarian K. Effect of omega-3 fatty acids supplementation on testosterone levels in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Nutr Sci & Diet. 2015;1(3):165-170.