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Atherosclerosis. 2012 Jan;220(1):118-21. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2011.10.025. Epub 2011 Oct 29.

Echium oil reduces atherosclerosis in apoB100-only LDLrKO mice.

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Department of Pathology/Section on Lipid Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, United States.



The anti-atherogenic and hypotriglyceridemic properties of fish oil are attributed to its enrichment in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5, n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6, n-3). Echium oil contains stearidonic acid (SDA; 18:4, n-3), which is metabolized to EPA in humans and mice, resulting in decreased plasma triglycerides.


We used apoB100 only, LDLrKO mice to investigate whether echium oil reduces atherosclerosis.


Mice were fed palm, echium, or fish oil-containing diets for 16 weeks and plasma lipids, lipoproteins, and atherosclerosis were measured.


Compared to palm oil, echium oil feeding resulted in significantly less plasma triglyceride and cholesterol levels, and atherosclerosis, comparable to that of fish oil.


This is the first report that echium oil is anti-atherogenic, suggesting that it may be a botanical alternative to fish oil for atheroprotection.

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