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Med J Aust. 1988 Feb 1;148(3):141-3.

Hypercholesterolaemic effect of fish oil in insulin-dependent diabetic patients.

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Royal Perth Hospital, WA.


The effect of the daily administration of Max EPA fish oil (equivalent to 2.7 g per day of eicosapentaenoic acid) on serum lipid levels was examined in insulin-dependent male diabetic patients with cholesterol levels of less than 6.5 mmol/L. After three weeks of fish-oil supplementation there was a significant rise in total cholesterol levels, which was due largely to increases in low-density lipoprotein (LDL)- and high-density lipoprotein (HDL)- cholesterol levels. The increase in HDL-cholesterol levels was accounted for by its HDL2 subclass. There was a decrease in serum triglyceride levels, but this was also observed in a control group of diabetic patients who did not receive fish oil and is probably explained by weight loss in this group. Similar changes in lipid levels were found in a subgroup of diabetic patients with retinopathy. The possible detrimental effect of the increase in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels after Max EPA fish oil at this dose may be offset by the selective rise in the protective HDL2 subclass.

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