A review of the effect of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on blood triacylglycerol levels in normolipidemic and borderline hyperlipidemic individuals.Lipids Health Dis 2015; 14:53LH
Circulating levels of triacylglycerol (TG) is a recognized risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death worldwide. The Institute of Medicine and the American Heart Association both recommend the consumption of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), to reduce serum TG in hyperlipidemic individuals. Additionally, a number of systematic reviews have shown that individuals with any degree of dyslipidemia, elevated serum TG and/or cholesterol, may benefit from a 20-30% reduction in serum TG after consuming n-3 PUFA derived from marine sources. Given that individuals with serum lipid levels ranging from healthy to borderline dyslipidemic constitute a large portion of the population, the focus of this review was to assess the potential for n-3 PUFA consumption to reduce serum TG in such individuals. A total of 1341 studies were retrieved and 38 clinical intervention studies, assessing 2270 individuals, were identified for inclusion in the current review. In summary, a 9-26% reduction in circulating TG was demonstrated in studies where ≥ 4 g/day of n-3 PUFA were consumed from either marine or EPA/DHA-enriched food sources, while a 4-51% reduction was found in studies where 1-5 g/day of EPA and/or DHA was consumed through supplements. Overall, this review summarizes the current evidence with regards to the beneficial effect of n-3 PUFA on circulating TG levels in normolipidemic to borderline hyperlipidemic, otherwise healthy, individuals. Thus demonstrating that n-3 PUFA may play an important role in the maintenance of cardiovascular health and disease prevention.