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Changes in lipoprotein composition in hypertriglyceridemic patients taking cholesterol-free fish oil supplements

  • Masahiro Inagaki
    Affiliations
    The Lipid and Arteriosclerosis Prevention Clinic, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas 66103 U.S.A.

    Department of Medicine University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas 66103 U.S.A.

    Department of Anesthesiology, University of Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas 66106 U.S.A.

    Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine Showa University, Tokyo, Japan
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  • William S. Harris
    Correspondence
    Correspondence to: William S. Harris, Ph.D., University of Kansas Medical Center, 3800 Cambridge Street, Kansas City, KS 66103, U.S.A. Phone: (913) 588-6025.
    Affiliations
    The Lipid and Arteriosclerosis Prevention Clinic, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas 66103 U.S.A.

    Department of Medicine University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas 66103 U.S.A.

    Department of Anesthesiology, University of Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas 66106 U.S.A.

    Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine Showa University, Tokyo, Japan
    Search for articles by this author
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      Abstract

      Fish oils rich in n − 3 fatty acids (FAs) have been shown to markedly lower levels of very low density lipoproteins (VLDL), but not the low density lipoproteins (LDL) which are derived from VLDL. Changes in the size and chemical composition of lipoproteins may affect their metabolism. In order to examine the effects of n − 3 FAs on lipoprotein metabolism, 6 patients with hypertriglyceridemia were given 6 g n − 3 FAs/day. Plasma lipid and apoprotein (apo A-I, A-II, B, E, C-II, C-III) levels (mg/dl) were measured before and after 4 weeks of treatment. Changes in lipoprotein size were assessed by gel chromatography. n − 3 FAs lowered VLDL cholesterol (58 ± 35 to 40 ± 30, P < 0.01) and total triglyceride (410 ± 170 to 236 ± 114, P < 0.01). In spite of this, LDL cholesterol levels did not decrease, and apo B levels increased (98 ± 28 to 111 ± 27, P < 0.05). HDL cholesterol rose (31 ± 5 to 34 ± 7, P < 0.05). The lipid content of smaller VLDL particles was reduced by over 40%, but the protein content was largely unchanged. Large triglyceride-rich lipoprotein particles were reduced to a greater extent than were small particles. These changes in VLDL particle size and composition may enhance the synthesis of LDL in hypertriglyceridemic patients taking n − 3 FA supplements.

      Keywords

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