Lipid lowering effect of omega-3 fatty acids in genetically obese zucker rats

K. L. Catherine Jen, Margaret Alexander, Shaobin Zhong, Kelly Rose, Paul K H Lin, Siddika E Karakas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 FA) are known to reduce blood lipid levels. Recent data, however, suggested that n-3 FA supplementation may worsen glycemic control in diabetic humans. This study was designed to explore the effects of n-3 FA feeding on lipid metabolism and glycemic control in a strain of genetically obese, hyperlipidemic rats. Lean and obese Zucker rats were fed a semi-purified diet made with either n-3 FA or corn oil (n-6, 10% w/w for both diets). After 16 weeks feeding, lean and obese rats fed the n-3 FA diet showed a significant reduction in blood triglyceride (TG) levels. Obese rats had significantly elevated TG levels in comparison with lean rats. Lean n-3 FA fed rats had elevated lipoprotein lipase activity in adipose tissue while hepatic triglyceride lipase activity was lowered by n-3 FA feeding in both lean and obese rats. Hepatic lipogenic enzyme activities were suppressed by fish oil feeding. However, fish oil feeding significantly increased hepatic gluconeogenic enzyme activity in lean rats. Therefore, n-3 FA feeding may exert different effects on blood lipid and glucose levels in lean and obese subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1217-1228
Number of pages12
JournalNutrition Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • gluconeogenic enzymes
  • glycemic control
  • lipid lowering effects
  • lipogenic enzymes
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Zucker rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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