Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, PhD, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine “Are linoleic acid supplements beneficial in increasing growth in pediatric cystic fibrosis patients?”

STUDY DESIGN: Review of three English primary studies published between 1995 and 2000.

DATA SOURCES: Two randomized control trial and one controlled clinical trial were used. Studies were found using PubMed and Cochrane Databases.

OUTCOMES MEASURED: Primary outcomes measured include the taste, smell, and appearance of the supplement and the growth of the cystic fibrosis patients.

RESULTS: In Steinkamp G, Demmelmair et al., the treatment group grew in its weight-for-height; whereas, there was no change in the growth/ body weight of the control group. Furthermore, the treatment group had an overall weight gain of 1.2 kg. In van Egmond et al., the participants using the supplement with more linoleic acid grew better than those using a supplement with less linoleic acid. In Rettammel AL, Marcus MS et al, fifteen of the twenty-four participants used an oral supplement before and ten of those individuals preferred this supplement. The supplement was well tolerated with fourteen participants preferring the taste of the supplement; however, seven participants thought the supplement was inconvenient and reported that the supplement was difficult to reconstitute.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of the two randomized control trials and a controlled clinical trial demonstrated that linoleic acid supplements increase growth in pediatric cystic fibrosis individuals. Future study is warranted to evaluate the proper amount of linoleic acid needed to increase growth, and different techniques need to be carried out in order to improve the taste and convenience of the supplement. The trials were not double blind studies and had a small sample size, which may have limited the data formulated.