Effect of fish oil on LDL oxidation and plasma homocysteine concentrations in health.J Lab Clin Med. 2003 Jan; 141(1):41-9.JL
Oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and hyperhomocysteinemia are believed to play a role in therogenesis. Whether n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids increase LDL susceptibility to oxidation or influence homocysteine (Hcy) metabolism has long been a subject of controversy. In this study, we evaluated the effect of 8 weeks of dietary supplementation with 6 g/day of fish oil (FO; 3 g of n-3 fatty acids) on plasma lipoproteins, in vitro LDL peroxidation, antioxidant status, and plasma Hcy concentrations in 16 normolipidemic subjects. FO rapidly and significantly (P < .01) decreased plasma total and very low density lipoprotein triglyceride concentrations and had no effect on LDL or high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol. The mean lag time before onset of Cu(2+)-induced LDL oxidation, as well as plasma and LDL alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene concentrations, was unchanged. However, changes in plasma aminothiol concentrations occurred during the study. Specifically, a progressive and significant increase in total Hcy plasma concentrations was observed (13.4% and 20% after 4 and 8 weeks, respectively; P < .01). Total glutathione concentrations were significantly higher after 8 weeks (P < .05). The tHcy increase was not associated with changes in plasma folate or vitamin B(12) concentrations. However, concentrations of plasma nitric oxide metabolites (NO(x) = NO(2) + NO(3)) were significantly higher than at baseline after 8 weeks of FO intake (74%; P < .01). Further, the changes in total Hcy and NO(x) plasma concentrations observed after 8 weeks of FO were found to be significantly correlated (r = .78, P < .001). With this study, we report for the first time the apparent interaction of n-3 fatty acids and nitric oxide on Hcy metabolism.