Essential fatty acids are claimed to have positive effects in atopic diseases. In a double blind, placebo controlled, parallel group study 58 out of 60 children, with atopic dermatitis and the need for regular treatment with topical skin steroids, completed a 16 weeks' treatment period with either Epogam evening primrose oil or placebo capsules. Twenty two of these subjects also had asthma. The parents used diaries to record symptom scores and concomitant medication. Peak expiratory flow was measured and disease activity was monitored by the clinician every four weeks. The plasma concentrations of essential fatty acids increased significantly in the group treated with Epogam capsules. The study demonstrated significant improvements of the eczema symptoms but no significant difference was found between the placebo and the Epogam groups. No therapeutic effect was shown on asthma symptoms or fidget.
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