Fish oil is regarded as one of the best quality vitamin and supplements available. Recent research indicates that it may be useful in treating Ocular surface diseases (OSD) which includes ‘dry eye’. OSD are disorders of the surface of the cornea, which is the transparent layer that forms the front of the eye. OSD diseases include dry eye syndrome.

A common women’s health issue is ‘Dry ‘eyes’. Menopausal women may experience ‘’dry eyes’ due to decreased androgens production.

Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is a natural fatty substance found in plant seed oil which functions by reducing cell growth and inflammation. Likewise omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) also causes a decline in inflammation. Both GLA and PUFAs are associated with the reduction in disease relevant inflammatory mediators that promote the development of chronic eye disease.

A recent 2013 clinical trial by Sheppard et al investigated the effects of supplements containing n-3 PUFAs and GLA on signs and symptoms of postmenopausal individuals with keratoconjunctivitis sicca.

38 post-menopausal women with tear dysfunction participated in a randomized, double masked placebo-controlled clinical trial that lasted for 6 months. During this period, participants either received GLA + n-3 PUFAs or a placebo.

The results highlighted that the supplementation of GLA and n-3 PUFAs for 6 months;

  • improved ocular irritation symptoms
  • maintained corneal surface smoothness
  • inhibited conjunctival dendritic cell maturation

The research published in 2013 in the Journal of Cornea and External Disease concluded, ‘”While this trial studied post-menopausal women, the largest group of dry eye sufferers, we think the benefits … should apply to other populations suffering from dry eye since inflammation is believed to be a common thread in dry eye,”

Other RCT by Bhargava et al 2013 have also concluded that omega- 3 supplementation can be useful in the treatment of dry oil.

In conclusion this is further evidence that Fish oil is regarded as one of the best quality vitamin and supplements available. Furthermore it may also act as a prophylactic in women’s health issues e.g. menopausal women. However, if the supplement is made with low quality ingredients then the fish oil can oxidize and become rancid making it detrimental .Therefore, essential to source supplements from reputable companies.