Objectives To evaluate the effects of high-dose oral omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on electroretinography and omega-3 index in patients with dry age-related macular degeneration.
Design Single institution, prospective, nonrandomized, noncomparative interventional case series comprising 34 eyes of 17 patients older than 50 years of age with early to intermediate age-related macular degeneration. Patients received oral supplementation with 4 g of omega-3 fatty acids daily (840 mg eicosapentaenoic acid/2520 mg docosahexaenoic acid) for 6 months. The main outcome measures included Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study best-corrected visual acuity, change in N1 and P1 peak amplitudes on multifocal electroretinographic testing, and change in serum omega-3 index.
Results Mean baseline Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study best-corrected visual acuity letter score was 77 letters (Snellen equivalent of 20/32). There were no statistically significant changes in visual acuity (P = .12) or retinal function by multifocal electroretinographic testing. Serum omega-3 index increased by an average of 7.6% during the course of the study (P < .001). Study limitations included the relatively short duration of the study and small number of participants.
Conclusions Short-term supplementation with high doses of omega-3 fatty acids does not result in any measurable changes in visual acuity or retinal function by multifocal electroretinographic testing. Dietary supplementation with 4 g of omega-3 fatty acids results in a significant increase in serum omega-3 index in patients with dry age-related macular degeneration and may provide a useful clinical measure for future studies.
Trial Registration clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01258335