Effects of omega-3 fish oils on lipid metabolism, glycemic control, and blood pressure in type II diabetic patients

Siddika E Karakas, B. Stern, S. Khilnani, P. McLin, S. Baciorowski, K. L C Jen

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82 Scopus citations


We investigated the effects of ω-3 fish oil (FO) supplementation on lipid metabolism, glycemic control, and blood pressure (BP) in patients with type II diabetes mellitus. In 22 diabetic patients without overt hyperlipidemia, serum triglyceride, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, HDL2-cholesterol, HDL3-cholesterol, and apolipoprotein A-I (apo A-I) levels did not change during ω-3 FO supplementation for 8 weeks. The mean serum apo B concentration increased significantly [baseline, 2.56 ± 0.11 (± SEM) mmol/L; 4 weeks, 2.82 ± 0.13 mmol/L; 8 weeks, 2.80 ± 0.13 mmol/L; P < 0.01]. The mean plasma postheparin lipoprotein lipase activity increased transiently during the fourth week (baseline, 168 ± 17 U/mL; 4 weeks, 182 ± 18 U/mL; P < 0.05), whereas postheparin hepatic triglyceride lipase activity did not change. Glycemic control worsened transiently during the fourth week, (baseline, 7.7 ± 0.4%; 4 weeks, 8.4 ± 0.3%; P < 0.05). Both systolic and diastolic BP decreased significantly throughout the study (systolic BP: baseline, 142 ± 5 mm Hg; 8 weeks, 128 ± 5 mm Hg; diastolic BP: baseline, 88 ± 4 mm Hg; 8 weeks, 80 ± 3 mm Hg; P < 0.01). These findings suggest that in type II diabetics without overt hyperlipidemia, ω-3 FO supplementation does not improve either the glycemic control or serum lipids, and it is associated with a potentially detrimental rise in serum apo B concentrations. Until more information is available, use of such supplementation should be discouraged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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