Background/Aims: Long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn-3PUFA) are beneficial for several inflammatory conditions. We evaluated the clinical efficacy of fish oil supplementation as an adjunct to standard therapy for advanced chronic periodontitis.
Methods: Participants with advanced chronic periodontitis (10M/23F, mean age 52±10 years) were randomised to consume fish oil capsules providing 1884mg LCn-3PUFA/day (n=23) or placebo capsules providing 2000mg soy oil/day (n=10) for 4 months in a randomised parallel study design. Patients were assessed at baseline and after 4 months for clinical outcomes, viz. probing pocket depth (PPD) and clinical attachment (CAL), and fasting blood samples were assessed for LCn-3PUFA erythrocyte content and plasma C reactive protein (CRP). In addition dietary intake of LCn-3PUFA was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire.
Results: Erythrocyte LCn-3PUFA increased by 50% in the fish oil supplemented group with no change in the placebo group. There were no changes in dietary consumption of LCn-3PUFA in either group indicating good compliance with supplementation. Both groups had improvements in clinical outcomes, with significant reductions in PPD and CAL gain. There was no significant difference between groups in the percentage of sites that had ≥2 mm gain of CAL (P=0.229) or reduction in PPD (P=0.264) after 4 months and there was no significant change in plasma CRP levels in either group.
Conclusions: Whilst periodontal treatment was effective in all participants, no additional benefit was observed with fish oil supplementation for 4 months.
Funding Source(s): Australian Dental Research Foundation grants (2013 and 2014); Novasel Australia LTD donated the capsules.