Is Omega 3 effective for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?

n-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation for the Treatment of Dry Eye Disease.

Dry Eye Assessment and Management Study Research Group, Asbell PA, Maguire MG, Pistilli M, Ying GS, Szczotka-Flynn LB, Hardten DR, Lin MC, Shtein RM.

N Engl J Med. 2018 May 3;378(18):1681-1690.


DREAM study concluded that supplements containing 3000 mg of n-3 fatty acids (Omega 3)for 12 months did not have significantly better outcomes than those who were assigned to receive placebo.

This was a multicenter, double-blind clinical trial. 349 patients who took 3000mg omega 3 supplements,186 placebo-group for 12 months were evaluated tear-film parameters including OSDI, BUT, CFS, and the Schirmer value. As results, all scores didn’t show significantly differences between before and after the treatment. I

HOWEVER,  all of the evaluated parameter were related to aqueous-deficient dry eye and short BUT-type dry eye, not meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).  Don’t worry about that.

I believe the efficacy of Omega 3 on MGD patients. There are several double-blind clinical trials which reported the efficacy of Omega 3 on MGD patients for 3 or 6 months.

  • Macsai MS.Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc. 2008
  • Oleñik, et al. Clin Interv Aging. 2013
  • Korb, et al. Cornea. 2015
  • Malhotra, et al. Cornea. 2015
  • Hampel, et al. Exp Eye Res. 2015
  • Ziemanski, et al. Am J Ophthalmol. 2018

Please watch Sardine with Japanese LIME!