n-3 fatty acids as preventive and therapeutic agents in attenuating PCOS complications

Mina Salek, Cain Clark, Mohsen Taghizadeh, Sadegh Jafarnejad

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)
    22 Downloads (Pure)


    To our knowledge, in spite of several trials exploring the beneficial effect of n-3 poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) on polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), no comprehensive evidence has investigated the effects of n-3 PUFA consumption on PCOS complications. Therefore, our aim was to conduct a review to investigate the possible effect and related mechanisms. A comprehensive systematic search was conducted in Embase, MEDLINE/PubMed, Google Scholar and SCOPUS, to identify studies investigating n-3 fatty acids as a preventative or therapeutic agent for the attenuation of PCOS complications. Subsequently, the impact of omega 3 on PCOS, omega 3 and inflammation, omega 3 and insulin resistance, omega 3 and adipokines, omega 3 and lipid metabolism, omega 3 and endothelial function and omega 3 and hormonal factors were discussed. There are multiple mechanisms by which n-3 PUFAs may exert their beneficial effects on PCOS, including anti-obesity, glycemic and hormonal hemostasis, anti-inflammatory, regulation of adipokine production and enhancement of endothelial function. N-3 PUFAs are a promising agent in relieving complications associated with PCOS. Although most of the studies in patients with PCOS reported an improvement in most complications after administration of omega-3 supplements, there is a distinct dearth of studies investigating the dietary intake of these types of fatty acids. Moreover, favorable effects regarding the improvement of dyslipidemia, regulation of adipokines, regulation of hormonal factors and enhancement of endothelial function are limited. Therefore, more trials are warranted to investigate palatable mechanisms for clarifying the metabolic and hormonal effects of these agents in PCOS.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)558-575
    Number of pages18
    JournalEXCLI Journal
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2019

    Bibliographical note

    This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License


    • Infertility
    • Metabolic disorder
    • N-3 PUFA
    • Obesity
    • PCOS

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Molecular Medicine
    • Animal Science and Zoology
    • Pharmacology
    • Drug Discovery


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