Iran J Kidney Dis., 2016, July 2016 Volume 10; Issue 4: Pages 197 to 204.

Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Inflammatory Cytokines and Advanced Glycation End Products in Patients With Diabetic Nephropathy: a Randomized Controlled Trial.

Mirhashemi SM. Rahimi F. Soleimani A. Asemi S.

Key Findings

Inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) are directly involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes. The accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and increased inflammatory cytokines play an important role in diabetes complications. This randomized clinical trial showed that flaxseed oil supplementation for 12 weeks had favorable effects on serum AGEs and RAGEs levels among diabetic patients, but did not affect inflammatory cytokines. The latter results are in conflict with previous studies that have reported reductions in inflammatory biomarkers in healthy humans and those with high levels of blood cholesterol. The effects noted may due to complications characteristic of the disease of diabetes.


This study was performed to evaluate the effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on inflammatory cytokines and advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in patients with diabetic nephropathy (DN). MATERIALS AND METHODS:  This randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial was done on 60 patients with DN who were randomly divided into 2 groups to receive either 1000 mg/d of omega-3 fatty acid from flaxseed oil (n = 30) or placebo (n = 30) for 12 weeks. The primary outcome variables were tumor necrosis factor-α, receptor tumor necrosis factor-α and growth differentiation factor 15. Fasting blood samples were taken at the onset and the end of the study to quantify the related markers. RESULTS:  Compared with the placebo, omega-3 fatty acid supplementation resulted in a significant decrease in serum AGEs (-2.3 ± 2.8 AU versus 0.2 ± 2.5 AU, P = .001). Despite a significant reduction in serum level of receptor for AGEs (-0.1 ± 0.3 AU, P = .02) in the omega-3 fatty acid group, no significant difference was found between the two groups in terms of their effects on the receptor for AGEs. Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acid had no significant effect on the inflammatory cytokines as compared with the placebo. CONCLUSIONS:  Our study demonstrated that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation among DN patients had favorable effects on AGEs and the receptor for AGEs.

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