Postheparin lipolytic activity and plasma lipoprotein response to ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in patients with primary hypertriglyceridemia

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The hypotriglyceridemic action of ω-3 (n-3) fatty acids is attributed primarily to reduction in hepatic triglyceride synthesis and reduced secretion of very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDLs). However, increased catabolism of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins was reported and could be due to increased availability of peripheral lipoprotein lipase (LPL) or hepatic lipase (HL). In this study plasma lipoproteins and postheparin activities of LPL and HL were determined in 12 patients with primary hypertriglyceridemia before and during isocaloric substitution of ω-3 fatty acids (10 g/d) for 4 wk. Omega-3 polyunsaturates resulted in 53% and 61% reductions in plasma triglyceride and VLDL-cholesterol concentrations, respectively (P < 0.0001). However, low-density-lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol concentrations increased by 26% (P < 0.001). Activities of postheparin LPL and HL essentially remained the same. Thus, in patients with primary hypertriglyceridemia, reduction in plasma triglyceride concentrations and increase in LDL-cholesterol concentrations mediated by ω-3 polyunsaturates seem to occur without an increase in LPL or HL activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-642
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1991



  • Hepatic lipase
  • Hyperlipoproteinemia type IV
  • Lipoprotein lipase
  • Lipoproteins
  • Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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