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Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2013 Apr;23(4):350-7. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2011.06.003. Epub 2011 Sep 15.

Effect of fish oil supplementation on serum triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and LDL subfractions in hypertriglyceridemic adults.

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Stanford Prevention Research Center and the Department of Medicine, Stanford University Medical School, 1265 Welch Road, SPRC X310, Stanford, CA 94305-5411, USA.



The well-established triglyceride (TG) lowering effect of fish oil is accompanied by an increase in LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) concentration. Less is known about the differential impact on LDL particle distribution - the smaller particles being associated with a greater risk for atherosclerosis. We aimed to examine the changes in serum concentrations of four subclasses of LDL particles as well as shifts in LDL phenotype patterns (A, B, AB) among hypertriglyceridemic adults.


This was a secondary analysis from a double-blind, parallel design, placebo controlled trial with 42 adults that experienced significant TG lowering and modest increases in total LDL-C concentrations after 12 weeks of 4 g/d EPA + DHA. Reduction in serum TG concentrations (mean ± SEM) was -26 ± 4% (-0.81 ± 10.12 mmol/L), p < 0.0001. Total LDL-C concentration increased by 13 ± 3% (+0.31 ± 0.08 mmol/L), p < 0.0001. The 12-week changes in concentrations of LDL1, LDL2, LDL3 and LDL4 were +0.06 ± 0.02 mmol/L [+2.2 ± 0.7 mg/dL], +0.07 ± 0.03 mmol/L [+2.6 ± 1.0 mg/dL], +0.16 ± 0.05 mmol/L [+6.3 ± 1.8 mg/dL], and +0.04 ± 0.04 mmol/L [+1.4 ± 1.7 mg/dL], respectively (+20 ± 5%, +64 ± 13%, +26 ± 6%, and +17 ± 9%), p < 0.05 for all but LDL4. Changes in LDL phenotype patterns A, B and A/B were negligible and not statistically significant.


In this population of hypertriglyceridemic adults, dietary supplementation with fish oil resulted in an increase in total LDL-C concentration which was distributed relatively evenly across the range of smaller and more atherogenic as well as larger and less atherogenic LDL particles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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