The objective of the study was to compare the effects of essential vs long-chain omega (n)-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in polycystic ovary syndrome.

In this 6-week, prospective, double-blinded, placebo (soybean oil)-controlled study, 51 completers received 3.5 g n-3 PUFA per day (essential PUFA from flaxseed oil or long-chain PUFA from fish oil). Anthropometric variables, cardiovascular risk factors, and androgens were measured; oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and frequently sampled intravenous GTT (IVGTT) were conducted at baseline and 6 weeks.

Between-group comparisons showed significant differences in serum triglyceride response (P = .0368), whereas the changes in disposition index also tended to differ (P = .0621). When within-group changes (after vs before intervention) were considered, fish oil and flaxseed oil lowered serum triglyceride (P = .0154 and P = .0176, respectively). Fish oil increased glucose at 120 minutes of OGTT (P = .0355), decreased the Matsuda index (P = .0378), and tended to decrease acute insulin response during IVGTT (P = .0871). Soybean oil increased glucose at 30 (P = .0030) and 60 minutes (P = .0121) and AUC for glucose (P = .0122) during OGTT, tended to decrease acute insulin response during IVGTT (P = .0848), reduced testosterone (P = .0216), and tended to reduce sex hormone-binding globulin (P = .0858). Fasting glucose, insulin, adiponectin, leptin, or high-sensitivity C-reactive protein did not change with any intervention.

Long-chain vs essential n-3 PUFA-rich oils have distinct metabolic and endocrine effects in polycystic ovary syndrome; and therefore, they should not be used interchangeably.

This study was conducted using Nordic Naturals ProOmega™/Ultimate Omega™
The dose used was 6 capsules/day.