Nutritional supplementation of omega-3s has been proposed to modulate the balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators in sepsis. We searched for RCTs on omega-3 supplementation in adult critically ill patients diagnosed with sepsis or septic shock. We analysed the included studies for mortality, intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay, and duration of mechanical ventilation. A total of 17 RCTs enrolling 1239 patients met our inclusion criteria. Omega-3 supplementation compared to no supplementation or placebo had no significant effect on mortality [relative risk (RR) 0.85; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.71, 1.03; P = 0.10; I 2 = 0%; moderate quality], but significantly reduced ICU length of stay [mean difference (MD) −3.79 days; 95% CI −5.49, −2.09; P < 0.0001, I 2 = 82%; very low quality] and duration of mechanical ventilation (MD −2.27 days; 95% CI −4.27, −0.27; P = 0.03, I 2 = 60%; very low quality).
Omega-3 nutritional supplementation may reduce ICU length of stay and duration of mechanical ventilation without significantly affecting mortality, but evidence is insufficient to justify the routine use of omega-3 fatty acids in the management of sepsis.
Read more at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5459780/