Noting that low concentrations of omega-3 PUFAs can affect neurotransmission and may increase cigarette cravings, Sharon Rabinovitz, MD, from the University of Haifa in Israel, examined the effect of PUFA supplementation on tobacco craving. Forty-eight regular cigarette smokers were administered 2,710mg eicosapentaenoic acid/day and 2,040mg docosahexaenoic acid/day for one month in a pilot study.
Rabinovitz found that PUFA supplementation for one month correlated with a significant reduction in reported daily smoking and in tobacco craving following cigarette cue exposure. In the month following treatment discontinuation, craving did not return to baseline values.
“This is the first study demonstrating that omega-3 PUFA supplementation reduces tobacco craving in regular smokers, compared to placebo treatment,” Rabinovitz writes. “Thus, omega-3 PUFAs may be of benefit in managing tobacco consumption. Further studies are needed on larger samples to explore the possible therapeutic implications for heavy cigarette smokers.”
Solgar Vitamin and Herb Company donated the omega-3 capsules used in the study.