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Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2011 Dec;13(6):474-83. doi: 10.1007/s11883-011-0210-3.

Effects of eicosapentaenoic acid versus docosahexaenoic acid on serum lipids: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, 69 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive SE, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA. mywei@emory.edu

Erratum in

  • Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2012 Feb;14(1):93.

Abstract

Omega-3 fatty acid supplements containing both eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have been shown to reduce triglycerides but also increase low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Whether EPA or DHA given as monotherapy has differential effects on serum lipoproteins has not been systematically evaluated. We performed a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials of monotherapy with EPA (n=10), DHA (n=17), or EPA versus DHA (n=6). Compared with placebo, DHA raised LDL 7.23 mg/dL (95% CI, 3.98–10.5) whereas EPA non-significantly reduced LDL. In direct comparison studies, DHA raised LDL 4.63 mg/dL (95% CI, 2.15–7.10) more than EPA. Both EPA and DHA reduced triglycerides, with a greater reduction by DHA in direct comparison studies. DHA also raised high-density lipoprotein (4.49 mg/dL; 95% CI, 3.50–5.48) compared with placebo, whereas EPA did not. Although EPA and DHA both reduce triglycerides, they have divergent effects on LDL and high-density lipoprotein. Further research is needed to elucidate the mechanisms and significance of these differences.

PMID:
21975919
DOI:
10.1007/s11883-011-0210-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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