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Kidney Int. 1984 Jul;26(1):81-4.

Effects of fish oil rich in eicosapentaenoic acid on serum lipid in hyperlipidemic hemodialysis patients.


The incidence of atherosclerosis in hemodialysis (HD) patients is very high. Major risk factors are aging, lipid metabolism disturbances, high blood pressure, and smoking. High blood pressure and hypertriglyceridemia, which is atherogenic in the presence of smoking, are encountered very often in HD patients. The effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) on plasma lipids and blood pressure were studied for the first time in HD patients by the administration of capsules containing fish oil rich in EPA, which is known to lower serum lipid concentration and blood pressure. We treated 12 hyperlipidemic patients (3 of type IIa, 3 of type IIb, and 6 of type IV; 3 males, 9 females; 31 to 70 years of age; 4 to 90 months on HD) with 24 capsules (1.6 g EPA and 1.0 g docosahexaenoic acid) per day for 13 weeks. Serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, and phospholipid decreased significantly after capsule administration. The ratio of EPA to arachidonic acid in serum increased significantly. There was a small but statistically significant decrease in platelet count. Diastolic blood pressure decreased at the end of the experiment. These effects of fish oil are considered favorable for the prevention of atherosclerosis and its subsequent diseases.

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