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Fortschr Med. 1991 Aug 20;109(24):476-9.

[Effect of omega-3-fatty acids on lipoprotein metabolism. Different effects in various phenotypes].

[Article in German]

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Fachklinik für Stoffwechselkrankheiten, Lindenfels.


A review of the literature confirms a regular and significant lowering of serum triglycerides by omega-3 fatty acids. This effect is the more pronounced the higher the initial levels are. Accordingly, in type V hyperlipoproteinemia, it is particularly marked. In normolipemic subjects and in patients with hypercholesterolemia (type IIA), total cholesterol is only slightly reduced. In patients with elevation of cholesterol and triglycerides (types IIB, IV and V), both triglycerides and cholesterol are lowered. This decrease is mainly obtained by reduction in VLDL cholesterol. In the case of types IV and V, on the other hand, triglyceride reduction is associated with an elevation of LDL and HDL cholesterol. At present, it is not clear whether the increase in LDL cholesterol is of a transient nature and prognostically irrelevant. It can be prevented by reducing the intake of saturated fat. HDL cholesterol is decreased by high doses and increased by low doses of omega-3 fatty acids. In the differential treatment of hyperlipoproteinemias, consideration should be given to these points.

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