Hypolipidaemic effects of n-3 fatty acids in primary hyperlipoproteinaemia

D. R. Illingworth, W. E. Connor, L. F. Hatcher, William Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


The influence of fish oils rich in n-3 fatty acids on plasma lipid and lipoprotein concentrations in patients with primary hyperlipoproteinaemia is reviewed. When used as a dietary supplement, n-3 fatty acids exert their greatest effect on the concentrations of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and these effects are dose dependent. Low doses of n-3 fatty acids reduce plasma triglyceride concentrations in patients with phenotypic type IV, type V and type IIB hyperlipoproteinaemia, but concurrently result in modest increases in the plasma concentrations of low density lipoprotein (LDL). With very high doses plasma concentrations of LDL cholesterol decrease in patients with the type IIB phenotype. At low doses n-3 fatty acids do not significantly lower concentrations of LDL cholesterol in patients with primary hypercholesterolaemia whereas at higher doses a modest LDL lowering effect is achieved. The results indicate that the therapeutic potential of n-3 fatty acids as hypolipidaemic agents is greatest in patients with hypertriglyceridaemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Internal Medicine
Issue numberS731
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1989



  • Dietary fatty acids
  • Familial hypercholesterolaemia
  • Fish oils
  • Hypolipidaemic agents
  • Lipoproteins
  • Type III hyperlipoproteinaemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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