Dose-response of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on lipid profile and tolerability in mildly hypertriglyceridemic subjects

Yongsoon Park, William S. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are known to reduce risk for coronary heart disease partly by altering blood lipids. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of low doses of n-3 PUFAs on the lipid profile and their tolerability in mildly hypertriglyceridemic subjects. Subjects with a serum triacylglycerol (TG) level between 100 and 300 mg/dL were placed on a corn oil placebo (seven capsules per day; single-blind) for 4 weeks and then randomized to continue seven capsules per day of placebo (n = 49) or one of the following doses of n-3 PUFAs for 20 weeks: 0.5 g (n = 51), 1 g (n = 23), or 2 g (n = 12). During the treatment period, 48-50% of the 1-g and 2-g dose groups reported noticing burping (P < .05), and only about half as many in the 0.5-g group noticed burping. Interestingly, 2% of those assigned to the placebo did report a fishy burping during the study, but this dropped back to nearly 0% by week 20. There was no significant effect for any dosage group on fasting and postprandial serum TG, chylomicron TG, very-low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol concentration. However, 1-g and 2-g n-3 PUFA treatments significantly increased total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol concentration. In addition, all doses of n-3 PUFA treatments significantly increased plasma phospholipid n-3 PUFAs. We conclude that doses of n-3 PUFAs of 0.5-2 g/day in healthy volunteers with above average TG levels did not have beneficial effects on their lipid profiles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-808
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medicinal Food
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Hypertriglyceridemia
  • Lipid profile
  • N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Postprandial
  • Tolerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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