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Hackensack University Medical Center testing omega-3 supplements to treat long COVID

Researchers testing omega-3 supplements to treat long COVID
Researchers testing omega-3 supplements to treat long COVID 01:50

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- It's estimated that one in five adults who have COVID-19 suffer from long COVID for months, or even years, after being infected. 

Researchers in New Jersey are testing a treatment that could help those suffering with the often debilitating symptoms. 

Nurse Debbie Turner has spent three decades caring for patients. But when the pandemic hit, this frontline worker was the patient. 

"There are a couple days that I just don't remember at all," said Turner, a nurse at the Center for Ambulatory Surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center. 

More than two years after her infection, Turner is still battling symptoms of long COVID. 

"I still have problems with my memory, like brain fog. I still get short of breath," said Turner.

"There is still so much unknown about this virus," said Dr. Manisha Parulekar, director of the Division of Geriatrics at Hackensack University Medical Center. 

As scientists work to better understand long COVID, treatment usually focuses on relieving symptoms. Now, a new study at Hackensack University Medical Center is testing whether omega-3 supplements can help. 

"Because we know COVID is an inflammatory process, could fish oil supplements minimize the inflammation which in turn is possibly causing the long term symptoms," said Parulekar, who is leading the study. 

The omega-3 supplement is a specific formulation that's different from products purchased over the counter.

Turner is one of 30 patients participating in the study's first round. Currently, all participants are health care workers at Hackensack University Medical Center.

"I don't know if I really felt a difference, but I felt hopeful that no matter what happens, if I'm on the placebo or taking this, that all of this is aimed at being able to find something that may work," said Turner. 

Previous studies in Europe and Israel reported some positive results from omega-3 supplements.

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