The ACVD task force on canine atopic dermatitis (XXIII): are essential fatty acids effective?
Review articleOpen access
Abstract:

AbstractEssential fatty acids (EFAs) exhibit the potential to affect allergic inflammation through the modulation of prostaglandin and leukotriene production, the inhibition of cellular activation and cytokine secretion as well as the alteration of the composition and function of the epidermal lipid barrier. Because of these multi-facetted effects, EFA have been proposed for treatment of canine atopic dermatitis (AD) since 1987. To date, more than 20 trials have been performed, reporting the efficacy of either oral EFA supplements or EFA-rich diets. Unfortunately, most of these studies were found to exhibit one or more of the following deficiencies: heterogeneity of diagnoses used as inclusion criteria, short duration of supplementation, lack of randomization of treatment allocation, lack of blinding of investigators and/or owners, lack of placebo or active controls, lack of documentation of plasma or skin EFA profiles during supplementation, as well as lack of standardization of the basal diets or supplements which could have provided additional EFA. Consequently, there is presently insufficient evidence to recommend for or against the use of EFA to control clinical signs of canine AD. Evidence of efficacy must await the performance of blinded, randomized and controlled trials of at least 3 months duration in which diets are identical for all of study subjects. In these trials, clinical efficacy should be evaluated in relation to plasma and cutaneous EFA treatment-induced alterations.

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