Seafood diets: hypolipidemic and antiatherogenic effects of taurine and n-3 fatty acids

Atherosclerosis. 2008 Oct;200(2):396-402. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2007.12.021. Epub 2008 Feb 1.


Background: Health aspects of seafood have primarily been linked to n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Although animal studies have suggested beneficial contributions from taurine, highly abundant in seafood, its effect in humans is obscure. This study evaluates the combined effects of n-3 PUFA and taurine.

Methods: Healthy volunteers (n=80) were recruited to a 7-week double-blind and parallel intervention trial. One group (n=39) received fish pâté (36g/day) enriched in n-3 (1.1gEPA+DHA/day) and the second (n=41) an identical pâté enriched both in n-3 and taurine (425mg/day).

Results: Total cholesterol (TC) (-5%, P<0.001), low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol (-8%, P<0.001) and Apo B (-4%, P<0.001) decreased more in the n-3+taurine compared to the n-3 group. A significant within-group enhancement of high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol was demonstrated in the n-3+taurine group (6%, P<0.0001). Reductions in triacylglycerol (TG) (-16%, P<0.05 in n-3; -14%, P<0.05 in n-3+taurine), thromboxane B(2) (TxB(2)) (-21%, P<0.001 in n-3; -15%, P<0.05 in n-3+taurine), tumor necrosis factor (TNFalpha) (-24%, P<0.001 in n-3; -12%, P<0.05 in n-3+taurine) and monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP-1) (-12%, P<0.05 in n-3; -6%, P<0.0001 in n-3+taurine) were evident in both groups. Reductions in interleukin (IL)-6 (-16%, P<0.05) and LTB(4) (-18%, P<0.05) were only significant in the n-3 group.

Conclusions: The effects, particularly on blood lipids, of combining n-3 PUFA's and taurine proved superior to those of n-3 alone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Diet*
  • Diet, Atherogenic*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fishes
  • Humans
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Research Design
  • Seafood
  • Taurine / pharmacology*


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Taurine
  • Cholesterol