A Consistency Model for Identifying the Effects of n-3 and n-6 Fatty Acids on Lipoproteins in Dialysis Patients

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Numerous randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses have assessed the effects of supplemental dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and the LDL/HDL ratio in patients receiving renal replacement therapy (RRT). However, results are ambiguous due to mixed reports of various nutrients used in the intervention group. We performed a network meta-analysis of RCTs to assess the effects of PUFAs on lipid profiles in patients undergoing RRT. RCTs performed before November 2021 were gathered from three databases. The means, standard deviations and the number of cases for each arm were independently extracted by two authors to form a network meta-analysis of LDL and HDL levels and the LDL/HDL ratio in a random effects model. Twenty-eight RCTs (n = 2017 subjects) were included in this study. The pooled results revealed that the combination of omega-3 fatty acids (n-3) and omega-6 fatty acids (n-6) produced significantly lower LDL (standardized mean difference (SMD) = −1.43, 95% confidence interval: −2.28 to −0.57) than the placebo. Both n-3 fatty acids (SMD = 0.78) and the combination of n-3 + n-6 (SMD = 1.09) benefited HDL significantly compared with placebo. Moreover, n-3 alone also exhibited a significantly lower LDL/HDL ratio than placebo. Collectively, PUFAs seem to be adequate nutrients for controlling lipoproteins in patients undergoing RRT. Specifically, n-3 + n-6 supplementation improved LDL levels, while n-3 improved HDL levels and the LDL/HDL ratio. However, our data provide limited information on specific dosages of PUFAs to form a concrete recommendation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1250
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2022


  • Dialysis
  • High-density lipoprotein
  • Low-density lipoprotein
  • N-3
  • N-6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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