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Arteriosclerosis. 1985 Sep-Oct;5(5):459-65.

Triglyceride-lowering effect of marine polyunsaturates in patients with hypertriglyceridemia.


Twenty male patients with primary hypertriglyceridemia were treated for 4 weeks with daily supplements (15 g) of oil, which provided approximately 6 g of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) either of fish or of vegetable origin. Total plasma cholesterol concentrations were unaffected, but both types of supplement increased high density lipoprotein-3 (HDL3) cholesterol concentrations. The fish, but not the vegetable, oil supplement led to a decrease in plasma triglyceride concentrations. Very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), fatty acid composition, and VLDL triglyceride kinetics were subsequently studied in five patients (four male, one female) before and after 4 weeks of therapy with 15 g of the same fish oil. The fish oil led to increases in the proportion of eicosapentaenoic acid in both the VLDL triglyceride and phospholipid fractions, but the increase was greater in the latter. In contrast, the proportion of docosahexanoic acid was increased only in the VLDL triglycerides. The decrease in plasma triglyceride concentrations that occurred with fish-oil therapy was accompanied by a reduction in the absolute catabolic rate of VLDL triglyceride, implying a concomitant change in synthetic rate; the fractional catabolic rate of VLDL triglyceride was unaltered. It is suggested that polyunsaturated fatty acids of marine origin may be therapeutically useful for hypertriglyceridemia.

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