Scientists in Brazil suggest that the benefits of omega-3 supplements in people with drug-resistant epilepsy require further investigation. This comes after literature review, published in Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews.To assess the effectiveness and tolerability of omega-3 supplements in the control of seizures in people with drug-resistant epilepsy, the researchers, from Universidade Estadual de Ciências da Saúde de Alagoas, searched several databases for randomised and quasi-randomised studies, of both adults and children, where omega-3 supplements were taken as part of treatment.The studies were assessed by two people, using pre-defined criteria, to see if they were suitable to be included in the review. These eligibility criteria specified: types of study design; forms of omega-3 supplement; types of participants; and outcome measurements. Three studies, involving a total of 155 people with epilepsy (85 adults and 70 children), were selected for the review.The results showed that only the study involving children reported freedom from seizures with omega-3 supplementation. However, according to the authors, this study had a high risk of bias because the researchers knew which children were taking omega-3 supplements and which ones were taking a placebo.When the team looked at the findings obtained from the two adult studies, they saw that there was no difference in average seizure frequency, quality of life or unwanted side effects between people taking omega-3 supplements and people taking placebo. Moreover, no differences in gastrointestinal effects were reported.The authors conclude that there is not enough evidence (from this small number of studies and small sample sizes) to support the use of omega-3 supplements for the treatment of people with drug-resistant epilepsy, and that more trials are needed to assess their benefits.Author: Dr Özge ÖzkayaClick here for more articles about other treatments for epilepsy.