Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation Improves Luteal Function in Obese Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Alex J. Polotsky, MD Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of Colorado Denver Practice homepage

Dr. Polotsky

Alex J. Polotsky, MD
Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
University of Colorado Denver
Practice homepage

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: It has been well established that profound dietary changes occurred over the past 100 years. The type and amount of fat consumed has changed quite a bit over the course of 20th century. Intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), previously consumed in large quantities by humans from vegetable and fish sources, has dropped significantly. The typical Western diet (sometimes also called the typical American diet) provides an omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio of as high as 25:1, which is quite different from what it used to up until about the 19th century (believed to be about 1:1 ratio).

In animal studies, diets enriched with omega-3 PUFA enhance early embryonic development and boost progesterone secretion. Obesity is well known to be associated with decreased progesterone production in women (even if a obese woman ovulates). The reasons for this are not clear. Obesity is also a state of low-grade chronic inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids are well known to have anti-inflammatory properties.

We sought to test whether dietary supplementation with omega-3 PUFA favorably affects reproductive hormones in women and whether this effect includes normalization of progesterone production in obesity.

All women in the study tolerated supplementation well, and had significantly decreased their omega-6 to omega-3 ratios (they were normalized much closer to a 1:1 ratio). Omega-3 supplementation resulted in a trend for increased progesterone in obese women, thus enhancing ovulatory function. A 16 to 22 percent increase was observed. Additionally, the supplementation resulted in reduced systemic inflammation.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Our results imply that this nutritional intervention should be tested in more rigorous clinical trials and considered for enhancement of fertility in women.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: In normal weight women who served as controls, omega-3 supplementation decreased FSH ( follicle stimulating hormone). The effect of omega-3 PUFA on FSH in normal weight women controls is intriguing and confirms mouse studies in which higher dietary omega-3 PUFA enhances fertility. 

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Citation:

ENDO 2017 abstract

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation Improves Luteal Function in Obese Women

Jessica Lauren Bauer*1, Zain Al-Safi2, Anahit Malkhasyan3, Mary Harris4, Robert H Eckel5, Andrew P Bradford6, Celeste Robledo6, Nancy A Gee7and Alex J Polotsky3
1University of Colorado-Denver, Aurora, CO, 2UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, 3University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO, 4Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 5University of Colorado Anchutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, 6University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO, 7University of California, Davis, CA

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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