OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether supplementation with fish oil given together with dietary advice and vitamin supplementation influenced the clinical outcome in newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Sixteen consecutive, newly diagnosed patients with multiple sclerosis were recruited to an open intervention study. They were given dietary advice and supplemented with 0.9 g/day of long-chain marine fatty acids and vitamins. The patients were followed for 2 years with respect to dietary habits, blood parameters and neurological assessment including exacerbation rate.

RESULTS: There was a significant reduction in the mean annual exacerbation rate and the mean Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) as compared to pre-study values. The plasma total phospholipid n-3 fatty acids increased and n-6 fatty acids decreased significantly.

CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that fish oil supplementation given together with vitamins and dietary advice can improve clinical outcome in patients with newly diagnosed MS.