Table 3.5 Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on triglycerides (mg/dL) in randomized trials (6 weeks to 2 years)

Author, YearOmega-3 Fatty Acid Arma ControlResultsb Qualityc Applicabilityd
NSourceg/dNSourceBaseNet Δ P SummaryJadadAllocation Conceal
Cairns, 1996 325Fish oilED5.4328Corn oil235-64<.05B3UnCVDII
Bonaa, 1992 72Fish oilED5.172Corn oil124-23<.01B4UnDysLipI
Lungershausen, 1994 42e Fish oilED4.942e Corn oil150-19<.01B3UnCVDII
Bairati, 1992b66Fish oilED4.559Olive oil204-80<.0001B5UnCVDII
Grimsgaard, 1997 75Purified EPAE3.877Corn oil109-23.0001f A5UnGENI
72Purified DHAD3.7110-29.0001f
Nilsen, 2001 g 61Fish oil (men)ED3.461Corn oil140-50.001B3UnCVDII
12Fish oil (women)13123-71.07
Eritsland, 1995b260Fish oilED3.3251No oil172-32<.0001B2AdCVDII
Franzen, 1993 92h Fish oilED3.183h Olive158-34ndC5AdCVDII
Osterud, 1995 26Cod liver oilED3.128No oil113-28<.05B2UnGENI
27Seal/Cod oilED2.8114-21NS
27Seal oilED2.4106-14NS
26Whale oilED1.797-9NS
Leigh-Firbank, 2002 55e Fish oilED3.055e Olive oil221-74<.001B3UnDysLipI
Maresta, 2002 125Fish oilED2.6i 132Olive oil160+5NSB3UnCVDII
Sirtori, 1998 459Fish oilED1.7j 450Olive oil294k -63<.0001B4AdCVD riskL I
Angerer, 2002 87Fish oilED1.784Fatty acid194-22NSB4AdCVDII
GISSI, 1999 2836Fish oilED0.92828No oil163-8<.05B3UnCVDII
2830Fish oilm 2830Vitamin E160-6
Fish and Mediterranean Diets
Singh, 2002 499Indo-MediterraneanT1.8501NCEP In 163-22<.0001C2UnCVD risko III
Hanninen, 1989 19Fish (3.8/week)ED0.9180.4 Fish/week81-14ndp B2UnGENIII
22Fish (2.3/week)ED0.581-12ndq
21Fish (1.5/week)ED0.460-8ndq
20Fish (0.9/week)ED0.269+4NS
de Lorgeril, 1994 171r Mediterranean/ Canola margarineA0.8% Kcal168s Regular190-19NSC2UnCVDII
Mori, 1994 17Fish oil & Fish diett ED5.218Olive/Palm/ Safflower154u -65k <.001B2UnCVDII
16Fish oilED4.240% fat diet-56k <.01
17Fish diett & Placebo oilED3.0-32k <.001
17Fish oilED2.1-21k <.05
18Fish diett & Placebo oilED3.017Oil 30% fat-37k <.01
Finnegan, 2003 31Fish oil margarine /Fish oilED1.730Sunflower margarine142-10NSA4UnDysLipI
30Fish oil margarineED0.8146+6NS
30Rapeseed/Linseed margarineA4.5147+23NS

nd = no data


A = ALA; D = DHA; E = EPA; ED = EPA+DHA; T = Total omega-3 fatty acids.


Base = baseline level in treatment arm; Net Δ = net difference in change in omega-3 fatty acids arm compated with the change in control arm, see Methods; P = P value of difference between treatment and control arms; NS = not statistically significant.


A = good quality; B = fair quality; C = poor quality; Jadad = Jadad Score (0–5, based on randomization, double blinding, and dropouts); Ad = adequate allocation concealment; In = inadequate allocation concealment; Un = allocation concealment unclear. See Methods.


CVD = history of cardiovascular disease; DM I/II = diabetes mellitus type 1 or 2; DysLip = dyslipidemia; GEN = general, healthy population; N/IDDM = (non-) insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. I = broadly applicable; II = applicable to sub-group; III = narrow applicability. See Methods.


Cross-over study.


Non-significant difference in effect between EPA and DHA.


Only subjects who did not change statin treatment are included here.


Maximum. Total analyzed was 172, not 175 (92+83).


5.1 g for 1 month before and 1 month after PTCA, then reduced to 2.6 g for an additional 5 months.


2.6 g/day for first 2 months, then 1.7 g/day for 4 months.


Estimate from graph.


Dyslipidemia and one or more of: hypertension, diabetes, or glucose intolerance.


Plus vitamin E 300 mg.


National Cholesterol Education Program step I prudent diet.


One or more of: hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, diabetes, angina pectoris or myocardial infarction.


P<.02 change from baseline.


P<.10 change from baseline.


Baseline data based on 289 subjects.


Baseline data based on 295 subjects.


Omega-3 fatty acid from fish diet is approximate, assuming that each of 4 different fish was consumed equally.


Mean baseline value for all subjects combined.

From: 3, Results

Cover of Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Intermediate Markers of Cardiovascular Disease
Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Intermediate Markers of Cardiovascular Disease.
Evidence Reports/Technology Assessments, No. 93.
Balk E, Chung M, Lichtenstein A, et al.

NCBI Bookshelf. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.