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Daily supplements of the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) improved symptoms of eczema, according to the results of a new trial. Measures of eczema improved by about 23 % over just eight weeks of consuming the DHA supplements and this was associated with significant reductions in levels of markers of inflammation, according to results published in the British Journal of Dermatology.
"With this randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial we show that an 8-week supplementation with 5.4 g daily of the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid DHA led to a significant clinical improvement of atopic eczema compared with baseline scores,"wrote the researchers, led by Margitta Worm from Charite-Universitatsmedizin Berlin.
The researcher recruited 53 people with atopic eczema (average age 26-27) and randomly assigned them to receive either a daily supplement of DHA (5.4 grams) or a placebo. After eight weeks, Worm and co-workers report that the severity scoring of atopic dermatitis (SCORAD) was reduced in the DHA group compared to the control-placebo group. "DHA, but not the control treatment, resulted in a significant clinical improvement of atopic eczema in terms of a decreased SCORAD," they wrote. The study is published in the April 2008 issue of the British Journal of Dermatology.