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Diabetes Care. 1996 Nov;19(11):1207-13.

Long-term effects of fish oil on insulin resistance and plasma lipoproteins in NIDDM patients with hypertriglyceridemia.

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  • 1Institute of Internal Medicine and Metabolic Diseases, Federico II University, Naples, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term (6-month) effects of moderate fish oil supplementation on insulin sensitivity and plasma lipoproteins in NIDDM patients with hypertriglyceridemia.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:

The study has been performed according to a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled design with a parallel group sequence. After a washout period of 4 weeks and a run-in period of 3 weeks, 16 NIDDM patients with hypertriglyceridemia (triglyceride [TG], 2.25-5.65 mmol/l) were randomly assigned to either fish oil (2.7 g/day eicosapentaenoic plus docosahexaenoic acid for 2 months, then 1.7 g/day for 4 more months) (n = 8) or placebo (n = 8). Diet and hypoglycemic drugs remained unchanged throughout the whole experiment. At baseline and after 6 months, insulin sensitivity was measured by euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp (insulin infused, 2.0 mIU.kg-1 body wt.min-1). At the same time, blood glucose control, fasting and postprandial serum insulin and nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations, and fasting plasma lipoprotein concentrations were evaluated.

RESULTS:

In the group treated with fish oil compared with the baseline, there was: 1) a significant reduction in both plasma TG (2.92 +/- 0.23 vs. 3.85 +/- 0.32 [mean +/- SE] mmol/l, P < 0.001) and VLDL-TG (2.35 +/- 0.24 vs. 4.25 +/- 0.66 mmol/l, P < 0.01), without significant changes in blood glucose control; 2) a significant reduction in fasting NEFA concentrations (572 +/- 100 vs. 825 +/- 131 mumol/l, P < 0.01); and 3) a significant enrichment in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids of erythrocyte membrane phospholipids. In the placebo group, there were no changes in any of the variables analyzed. The insulin-mediated glucose uptake was unchanged in both groups (fish oil, 4.04 +/- 0.82 mg.kg-1.min-1 at baseline and 3.96 +/- 0.50 mg.kg-1.min-1 at 6 months; placebo, 3.51 +/- 0.62 mg.kg-1.min-1 at baseline and 4.09 +/- 0.49 mg.kg-1.min-1 at 6 months).

CONCLUSIONS:

In NIDDM patients with hypertriglyceridemia, moderate amounts of fish oil induce a long-term significant reduction in plasma triglycerides, VLDL triglycerides, and NEFA and a significant enrichment in the erythrocyte phospholipid content of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, without deteriorating blood glucose control. However, this amount of omega-3 fatty acids was unable to improve insulin sensitivity in this group of patients.

PMID:
8908381
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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