Association of Omega-3 Fatty Acid and Epileptic Seizure in Epileptic Patients: A Systematic Review

Makan Pourmasoumi, Nooshin Vosoughi, Seyedeh-Masoumeh DerakhshandehRishehri, Mostafa Assarroudi, Motahar Heidari-Beni


The evidence on the association between omega-3 consumption and epileptic seizure is inconsistent. Therefore, we have conducted this systematic review to clarify the possible relationship. Original articles were searched in electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, Cochrane, and Ovid) and by reviewing the reference lists of retrieved articles. The main evaluated outcome was the epileptic seizures. We included the English language studies that reported the original data on the effect of omega-3 on epileptic human patients. We included the nine articles with 230 patients in the present systematic review. The mean ± standard deviation age of them was about 31.01 ± 14.99 years. The average of study duration was 22 ± 15.27 weeks. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements were defined as the sum of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (1100 mg/d); as the sum of EPA, DHA, and alpha-linolenic acid (5 g/d); and as the sum of EPA alone (565 mg/d) in different studies. Among the nine studies, four studies reported a significant positive association between omega-3 fatty acids and epileptic seizures. However, power and quality of these studies are low, and we cannot consider the beneficial effect of omega-3 on seizures. In addition, five studies did not reveal any significant effect. Majority of the included studies did not show a significant association between omega-3 and epileptic seizure in epileptic patients, but further studies are necessary. It is controversial whether omega-3 fatty acids can produce positive effects on epileptic patients or not.

Keywords: Docosahexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, epilepsy, omega-3

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