Fish Oil Supplements May Help Fight Acne

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Fish oil may not be a panacea, but it sure has been linked to numerous health benefits. A recent study shows that it may be helpful in reducing moderate to severe acne.

Researchers in California evaluated 13 men (aged 18 to 40 years; 54% Hispanic/Latino, 23% Caucasian, 23% Asian) with mild to severe acne, who were given three fish oil capsules containing a combined 930 mg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), 720 mg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and 174 mg docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) daily for 12 weeks. The patients continued an unchanged diet and completed four separate 3-day food diaries to ensure they were not consuming large quantities of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Though fatty acids EPA and DHA both have benefits, DHA is the one more often linked to these benefits. However, when it comes to benefits for the skin, EPA seems to take the upper hand. It is therefore not surprising that more EPA was in the study. The results?

At week 12, there was no significant change in acne grading and inflammatory counts when compared with baseline. Researchers observed a broad range of response, however, with improvement of at least one point on the acne grading scale in eight patients (62%), worsening in four patients (31%) and unchanged in one patient. Seven patients who showed improvement were classified at baseline as having moderate to severe acne, while three patients who had deterioration were classified with mild acne. See the full report

Fish oil benefits for skin are well-documented, including for eczema as well as sensitivity to UV rays from the sun. In one study of 40 people with psoriasis, it was found that those who took prescription medications and EPA did better than those who took medications alone. Not long ago, researchers found an age-old herb to be effective in treating certain types of acne.

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