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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2010 Apr;80(2):107-16. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000011.

The effects of low dose n-3 fatty acids on serum lipid profiles and insulin resistance of the elderly: a randomized controlled clinical trial.

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Cardiology, Dr Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



N-3 fatty acids have several beneficial effects on dyslipidemia and diabetes, conditions which are prevalent in the elderly. This study assessed the effects of low-dose n-3 fatty acids on serum lipid profile, lipoprotein(a), apolipoprotein B, fasting glucose, insulin, and insulin resistance in a group of elderly Iranians.


A 6-month randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial was carried out in 124 elderly residents of Kahrizak Charity Foundation aged >or= 65. The intervention group was supplemented with 1 g/day fish oil capsule (with 180 mg eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA; and 120 mg docosahexaenoic acid, DHA; a total of 300 mg n-3 fatty acids as effective constituents). Fasting blood samples were collected at baseline and after 6 months of the trial.


There were no significant effects of fish oil on the studied variables in the intervention group. In the placebo group, serum triglyceride significantly increased and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol significantly decreased (p = 0.01 and p = 0.009, respectively). By repeated measurement analysis after adjustments, the overall decrease in serum triglycerides compared with placebo was significant (p = 0.04).


Supplementation with low dose n-3 fatty acids for 6 months could significantly protect elderly Iranians from a rise in serum triglycerides.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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