Omega-3 from flaxseed oil useful against endometrial hyperplasia symptoms: Iranian RCT

By Cheryl Tay

- Last updated on GMT

40 EH patients were randomly assigned them to each take either 1mg of omega-3 flaxseed oil supplements or a placebo twice a day for 12 weeks. ©Getty Images
40 EH patients were randomly assigned them to each take either 1mg of omega-3 flaxseed oil supplements or a placebo twice a day for 12 weeks. ©Getty Images

Related tags omega-3 Iran flaxseed oil

Supplementation with omega-3 significantly improves certain symptoms related to endometrial hyperplasia (EH), but not its inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers, Iranian researchers have found.

With limited data available on how omega-3 fatty acid supplementation affects clinical symptoms and metabolic profiles in patients with EH, researchers at Iran’s Arak University of Medical Sciences and Kashan University of Medical Sciences conducted an RCT to find out what these effects would be.

They recruited 40 women who had been diagnosed with simple EH and randomly assigned them to each take either 1g of omega-3 flaxseed oil supplements or a placebo twice a day for 12 weeks.

They also took fasting blood samples at baseline and after the 12-week intervention to determine related markers.

Improvements and inflammation

After 12 weeks, the researchers reported that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation had significantly reduced the fasting plasma glucose by 7.1 mg/dl to 9.6mg/dl in the intervention group, compared to an increase of 2mg/dl to 4.9mg/dl in the placebo group.

Serum insulin levels in the intervention group had also seen a decrease of 1.5μIU/ml to 4.6μIU/ml, compared with an increase of 1.6μIU/ml to 3.9μIU/ml in the placebo group.

Furthermore, there was a significant increase of 69.6mmol/L to 102.6mmol/L in the intervention group’s plasma total antioxidant capacity, versus a 5mmol/L to 37.1mmol/L increase in the placebo group.

The intervention group’s total glutathione levels had also risen by 63.6 to 84.94μmol/L, compared to a decrease of 3μmol/L to 69μmol/L in the placebo group.

However, the researchers also found that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation did not have any significant effect on regression, lipid profiles, or other biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in EH.

They noted that the study’s findings were consistent with those of previous studies, but also inconsistent with some past research that had found omega-3 fatty acid supplementation to be useful in reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.

They wrote: “This discrepancy between our study and others might be mediated by distinct trial designs, various dosages of omega-3 fatty acid supplements, the source of omega-3 fatty acids, duration of the study, and variation in the individual characteristics of the subjects.

“However, the exact mechanism by which omega-3 fatty acids might influence fasting plasma glucose and markers of insulin metabolism is unknown.

“Improved markers of insulin metabolism by omega-3 fatty acid intake may be mediated by the inhibiting production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and gene expression levels of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB).”

Subject to change

As one of the limitations of the study, he researchers said that they had not evaluated gene expression related to insulin and oxidative stress to determine the plausible underlying mechanism(s) of action,

Furthermore, they had determined that serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) as a systemic inflammatory marker, with systemic markers such as hs-CRP having the ability to be influenced by a range of different factors.

They recommended that future studies adopt a cross-over design, longer intervention period, and larger sample sizes in order to confirm the validity of the current study’s findings.

In conclusion, they wrote: “We showed that omega-3 fatty acid administration for 12 weeks to subjects with EH significantly improved fasting plasma glucose, insulin, total antioxidant capacity and total glutathione levels, but did not influence regression and lipid profiles, and other biomarkers of inflammatory and oxidative stress.

“This suggests that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may confer advantageous therapeutic potential for patients with EH. Further studies are needed in other participants and with longer periods to explore the plausible mechanism and confirm our findings.”


Source: International Journal of Preventive Medicine

“Effects of Flaxseed Oil Omega-3 Fatty Acids Supplementation on Regression and Metabolic Status in Endometrial Hyperplasia: A randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial”

Authors: Mehri Jamilian, et al.

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