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Lancet. 1993 Jun 19;341(8860):1557-60.

Placebo-controlled trial of essential fatty acid supplementation in atopic dermatitis.

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Department of Dermatology, Leicester Royal Infirmary, UK.

Erratum in

  • Lancet 1993 Aug 28;342(8870):564.


Treatment of atopic dermatitis with essential fatty acids remains controversial. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study was done to investigate the response of patients with atopic dermatitis to essential fatty acid supplements. Patients with atopic dermatitis were randomised to receive evening primrose oil, evening primrose oil and fish oil, or placebo for 16 weeks. Disease activity was monitored by clinical severity scores recorded by the investigator, topical steroid requirement, and symptom scores recorded by subjects. Of 123 subjects recruited, 102 completed the treatment period. No improvement with active treatment was demonstrated. Our study, which avoided the methodological and analytical problems of previous studies, found no effect of essential fatty acid supplementation in atopic dermatitis.

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