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Comparing the effects of docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids on cardiovascular risk factors: Pairwise and network meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials

  • Author Footnotes
    1 Mohammad Hassan Sohouli and Somaye Fatahi contributed equally to this work.
    Somaye Fatahi
    Footnotes
    1 Mohammad Hassan Sohouli and Somaye Fatahi contributed equally to this work.
    Affiliations
    Student Research Committee, Faculty of Public Health Branch, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

    Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    1 Mohammad Hassan Sohouli and Somaye Fatahi contributed equally to this work.
    Mohammad Hassan Sohouli
    Footnotes
    1 Mohammad Hassan Sohouli and Somaye Fatahi contributed equally to this work.
    Affiliations
    Student Research Committee, Department of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Nutrition and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
    Search for articles by this author
  • Elma Izze da Silva Magalhães
    Affiliations
    Postgraduate Programme in Collective Health, Federal University of Maranhão, Rua Barão de Itapary, 155, Centro, São Luís, MA, Brazil
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  • Victor Nogueira da Cruz Silveira
    Affiliations
    Postgraduate Programme in Collective Health, Federal University of Maranhão, Rua Barão de Itapary, 155, Centro, São Luís, MA, Brazil
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  • Fernando Zanghelini
    Affiliations
    Postgraduate Program in Therapeutic Innovation, Federal University of Pernambuco, Pernambuco, Brazil
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  • Parisa Rahmani
    Affiliations
    Pediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology Research Center, Pediatrics Centre of Excellence, Children's Medical Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
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  • Hamed Kord-Varkaneh
    Affiliations
    Student Research Committee, Department of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Nutrition and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
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  • Elham Sharifi-Zahabi
    Affiliations
    Student Research Committee, Faculty of Public Health Branch, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
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  • Farzad Shidfar
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, No 7, West Arghavan St, Farahzadi Blvd, PO Box 19395-4741, Tehran 1981619573, Iran.
    Affiliations
    Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    1 Mohammad Hassan Sohouli and Somaye Fatahi contributed equally to this work.
Published:September 27, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2022.09.013

      Highlights

      • Evidence studies suggests that DHA may have greater potential effects on improving CVD risk factors than EPA.
      • Network meta-analysis of comparisons of DHA and EPA suggested significant comparable effects only on LDL.
      • Pairwise meta-analysis of DHA and EPA showed significant difference in their effects on glucose and Insulin.
      • Findings suggest that both EPA and DHA act similarly on the markers with slight changes in glucose, insulin, and LDL.

      Abstract

      Background

      Evidence from clinical trial studies suggests that docosahexaenoic acids (DHA) may have greater potential effects on improving cardiovascular risk factors than eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). However, this evidence has not yet been meta-analyzed and quantified. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the effect of DHA and EPA monotherapy on cardiovascular risk factors based on paired and network meta-analysis.

      Methods

      Relevant articles published up to January 2022 were systematically retrieved from relevant databases. We included all Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) on adults that directly compared the effects of DHA with EPA and RCTs of indirect comparisons (DHA and EPA monotherapy compared to control groups). Data were pooled by pairwise and network meta-analysis and expressed as mean differences (MDs) with 95% CIs. The study protocol was registered with PROSPERO (Registration ID: CRD42022328630).

      Results

      Network meta-analysis of comparisons of DHA and EPA suggested significant comparable effects only on LDL-C (MD EPA versus DHA = −8.51 mg/L; 95% CI: −16.67; −0.35). However, the Network meta-analysis not show a significant effect for other risk factors. Furthermore, pairwise meta-analysis of direct comparisons of DHA and EPA showed significant difference in their effects on plasma glucose (MD EPA versus DHA = −0.31 mg/L; 95% CI: −0.60, −0.02), Insulin (MD EPA versus DHA = −2.14 mg/L; 95% CI: −3.26, −1.02), but the results were not significant for risk factors.

      Conclusion

      Our findings suggest that both EPA and DHA act similarly on the markers under study, with slight changes in plasma glucose, insulin, and LDL-C.

      Keywords

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