Docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acid supplementation does not exacerbate oxidative stress or intravascular haemolysis in homozygous sickle cell patients.Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2013; 89(5):305-11PL
We investigated whether or not Omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (omega-3 LCPUFA) supplementation exacerbates oxidative stress in homozygous sickle cell patients aged 2 to 14 years. Depending on their age, they received between one and three omega-3 (277.8mg DHA and 39.0mg EPA/capsule) or placebo (high oleic acid sunflower seed oil) capsules for one year. Supplementation increased significantly the levels of the two fatty acids in red cell phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine (p<0.001). The patients who received omega-3 LCPUFA compared with their placebo-taking counterparts had a higher concentration of plasma vitamin E at one year (14.3±2.8 versus 12.3±2.8µmol/l; p<0.001). The two groups had comparable concentrations of the vitamin at six month intervention (10.8±2.2 versus 10.7±2.9µmol/l; p>0.05) and baseline (10.7±3.1 versus 10.7±2.8µmol/l; p>0.05). After six month of intervention, the patients on omega 3 fatty acids had lower GPx-1 (33.5±13.4 versus 46.6 ±17.6, p<0.01) and Cu/Zn-SOD (1070±600 versus 1470±690 p<0.05) activities than at baseline. GPx-1 (33.5±17.6IU/g Hb versus 43.7±13.2IU/g Hb; p<0.01) and Cu/Zn-SOD (1070±600IU/g Hb versus 1360±920IU/g Hb; p>0.05) activities were reduced in the omega 3 compared with the placebo at six month intervention. There was no difference in the activity of either of the enzymes between baseline and six month intervention in the placebo group (p>0.05). This study demonstrates; DHA and EPA supplementation, rather than exacerbating the inherent oxidative stress associated with the disease, seems to provide an antioxidant protection. Hence, it will be safe to provide omega-3 LCPUFA to sickle cell patients to help ameliorate vaso-occlusive and haemolytic crises and membrane fatty acid abnormality.