• Written By: Jennifer Li, MD
    Cornea/External Disease

    This double-masked placebo-controlled clinical trial found that supplementation with gamma-linolenic acid (black currant seed oil) and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids improved ocular irritation symptoms, maintained corneal surface smoothness, and inhibited conjunctival dendritic cell maturation in older female patients with dry eye.

    These results are consistent with previously reported data on the effects of fatty acid supplementation on dry eye.

    Subjects were 38 postmenopausal women with moderate to severe dry eye randomized to two softgels twice a day containing fish oil, black currant seed oil, antioxidant vitamins C and E, and cofactors in fatty acid metabolism, or placebo for six months.

    At 24 weeks, the Ocular Surface Disease Index score improved with supplementation and was significantly lower than with placebo. Corneal smoothness was significantly improved in supplement-treated subjects. Placebo-treated patients also showed significantly increased HLA-DR antigen intensity and CD11c-positive dendritic cells compared with treated patients.

    The authors conclude that nutritional supplementation with black currant seed oil and fish oil should be considered in the treatment of tear dysfunction.